Theft results in 12-mth suspended jail sentence

A BAG of cash left unattended on a bar stool at the Winsome Hotel in Lismore proved too tempting for Luke Willott, who grabbed it, took off over the bridge then blew most of it on drugs and pokies.

Willott, 20, a diesel mechanic from Casino, received a 12-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty in Lismore Local Court to the theft of $3059 in hotel takings on August 29 last year.

Magistrate Annette Sinclair also fined Willott $300 for possession of a small quantity of cannabis, and put him on a 12-month bond for the supply of a small quantity of ecstasy on the same day. He was ordered to pay $3057 compensation to the hotel.

The hotel manager had left the bag of money on the stool after going into the office to take a phone call.

Willott, who was visiting the hotel with a female friend, saw the bag and stole it.

While walking across Colemans Bridge he took the banknotes from the bag then threw the coins and a bank book into the Wilson River.

The female friend told him to return the money, but Willott refused, saying 'No way, I can get my car fixed'.

When arrested Willott told police that apart from $87, all of the stolen money had been spent on alcohol, drugs, and put through gaming machines in Lismore.

Willott admitted to police he used the stolen Winsome Hotel money to buy drugs, including liquid acid and ecstasy.



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