Laptop theft sentence wiped

A LENNOX HEAD earth mover driver who returned a stolen laptop after first thinking it was his, and was then confronted by its angry owner, has escaped penalty and instead received a section 10 bond without conviction.

Peter Comerford, 26, had pleaded guilty in Ballina Local Court to receiving stolen property and trespass at a Lennox Head house on July 25, after he and a friend entered the yard in Ballina Street.

Evidence before the court was that the friend returned from the house and gave him the laptop, but as Comerford left the yard he realised it was not his and 10 minutes later came back to leave it on an outside table.

Defence lawyer Ben Robin outlined the background to the scenario, saying his client had his laptop fixed by the victim who then refused to return it and, on the night of the offence, Comerford had been drinking alcohol when he walked past the house and then went into the yard.

“His friend handed him the laptop. He thought it was his and then realised it was not. He only had it 10 minutes and returned the laptop,” Mr Robin said.

“There was a confrontation with the victim who attempted to attack him and he ran away.”

Mr Robin said Comerford had since taken steps to address any alcohol issues he may have.

Magistrate Kim Pogson said it was an unusual set of facts with the laptop taken and then returned, and seemed to have been a momentary lapse of attention.



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