A Brisbane pensioner’s plea for leniency in a magistrates court over a bizzare stealing charge has fallen on deaf ears.
Cyril Simpson-Snape, 72, a retired teacher, faced Holland Park Magistrates Court on Friday charged with stealing a bundle of 25 copies of The Courier-Mail worth $75 from a newsagents at the nearby Garden City shopping complex the day before.
Simpson-Snape, who represented himself, told Mr Dennis Strongley SM that he had panicked on Thursday morning after finding that all the shelves in supermarkets at the Mount Gravatt mega shopping complex had been stripped of all supplies of toilet paper.
He told the magistrate: “I have chronic irritable bowel syndrome and to be perfectly blunt, I had the runs that morning and simply panicked.
“I saw the bundle of Courier-Mails in the newsagency nearby and just grabbed them and ran.
“I didn’t have enough money on me to pay for them. Have you seen the cover price of the Courier these days, sir?
“It’s much more exorbitant than Sorbent,” he said to polite laughter in the appropriately named Number 2 courtroom.
Magistrate Strongly said that while he sympathised with the pensioner’s plight, stealing was still stealing.
“Nevertheless, I accept that the true value of the newspapers was probably much less, as most of them would have had their mastheads ripped off and returned to the publishers as unsold.”
Simpson-Snape was convicted and fined $300, in default a week’s jail, and was given six months to pay given his financial circumstances.