A man pleaded guilty to stealing from Target in Coffs Harbour.
A man pleaded guilty to stealing from Target in Coffs Harbour.

Man forced to pay Target compo after sneaky shoplift tactic

A HOMELESS man has been ordered to pay Target compensation after he used sneaky tactics to steal a television from a Coffs Coast store.

Dean Patrick Hardie, aged 52, appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday after an arrest warrant was executed over the 2019 shoplifting offence.

The court heard the former truck driver, who was living with his mother at the time, went to Target with another person on April 4.

Described by the defence as a "relatively unsophisticated endeavour", Hardie concealed the bar code and left the store with the TV, while the second person distracted the shop workers.

The prosecution informed the magistrate that Target was seeking compensation from Hardie, having lost $699 from the theft.

The defence asked the magistrate not to impose any further fines due to Hardie's difficult financial situation.

It was heard Hardie had been working as a truck driver for 20 years before he lost his job around six months ago, and he had been homeless for about a month.

Magistrate Ian Rodgers acknowledged the theft was on the lower scale of seriousness, however he noted there was some degree of planning involved which aggravated the offence.

When handing down his sentence the magistrate also took into account Hardie's history, which involved a charge of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage in 2018.

Hardie was convicted and sentenced to a conditional release order for nine months. He was also ordered to pay Target compensation of $699.



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