Judge orders thief to leave town

A SYDNEY pensioner who was charged with shoplifting while holidaying in Lismore was told by a magistrate to get on a train back home after pleading guilty in Lismore Local Court.

Anthony McDougall, 47, from Parramatta, was convicted of stealing a bottle of Detol hand wash, chocolate milk and a Nudie mango fruit drink from Woolworths on December 7.

Court documents stated the holiday-maker was seen by an undercover store security officer placing the items in his pants pockets.

He paid at the checkout for a bottle of soda water, but left without paying for the other items.

Police also found a small quantity of marijuana in his pockets when they frisk searched him.

He was arrested and spent the night in police custody before fronting court on Tuesday.

Defence lawyer Ben Cochrane said McDougall was on a disability support pension which entitled him to a free train ticket, so he came to the area but ran out of money and was unable to get advance funds from Centrelink.

Mr Cochrane said the pensioner had a return ticket to get home to Parramatta, but would have difficulty paying any court-imposed fine.

“Just make sure he’s on that train to Parramatta,” Magistrate Robyn Denes said.

She fined McDougall $200 for drug possession and convicted him of shoplifting without penalty, saying his night spent in the cells was enough.

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