Jail for sock stealer

HE had $220 in his pocket but Paul Kenneth Darke did not intend paying for a pair of comfy brown socks - instead walking out of a Lismore store with them because he needed to keep his feet dry in wet weather.

Darke, 44, also known as Cresswell, from McKenzie Street, is now in a Grafton jail cell until January 31 after his severity appeal of the lower court jail sentence for his 'annoying' offences was dismissed in Lismore District Court.

Judge James Black did vary the penalty, shaving time off his total sentence to serve for offences of stealing a bottle of Bundaberg Rum at Ballina in January, and being found in Lismore on Anzac Day with goods police suspect were stolen - a Hewlett Packard printer and a red gas lamp.

In court last week, Darke's lawyer Amy Barker said her client maintained he found the printer and lamp in a charity bin before police arrested him after seeing him walking along a street carrying the goods.

Judge Black stated even so, items were not left there (in charity bin) so people could make off with them.

When arrested over the socks on April 17 Darke told police he needed them because his feet would get wet of an evening.

Ms Barker said he was now in jail because of a breach of his good behaviour bond but was being kept in protective custody following an assault.

'The charges I'm appealing today are both foolish and wrong,' Darke wrote in a letter before Judge Black.

'The socks I stole I still can't work out why I stole them. The bottle of liquor I took I am definitely sorry I did such a thing. I've decided to mend my ways, get a job, a decent girlfriend, a decent place to live away from trouble and do what a decent person would do'.

Judge Black said his offences were very annoying but minor.

Darke received a fixed four-week sentence for stealing the socks valued at $7.99.



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