'Bloody thief' sent to jail after slicing hand open
IT WAS only a $60 camping knife but stealing it proved only the start of a Toowoomba man's problems.
When an employee of a Ruthven St camping store spotted drops of blood on the store's floor and across and range of products on December 30, staff consulted the store's CCTV footage.
The footage showed Peter Anthony Turnbull in the knives section remove a Gerber knife from its sheath and replace it, in the process accidentally slicing the palm of his hand, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.
He had then stolen the knife but as he left the store the bleeding became worse and he had dripped and sprayed blood over the floor and a range of products, police prosecutor Al Windsor told the court.
Due to blood damage, the products could not be sold, leaving a damage bill of more than $1200, Senior Constable Windsor said.
Police matched the blood by DNA to Turnbull and on January 4 spoke to him at his Toowoomba home.
The 45-year-old was arrested and remained in custody until pleading guilty by prison video link before the court to stealing and wilful damage offences arising from the incident.
Turnbull also pleaded guilty to receiving a debit card that had been stolen from a 66-year-old woman pensioner as she shopped in Toowoomba on November 27, last year.
Turnbull had used the card three times at three different tobacco shops to obtain tobacco goods to the value of $96 before the bank cancelled the card, Snr Const. Windsor said.
His solicitor Brad Skuse (David Burns Lawyers) told the court his client had been on parole at the time but that order had expired days after he was taken into custody.
Mr Skuse said his client had not "purposely cut his hand" at the camping store but as he exited the store he found the wound bleeding profusely and blood had just dripped onto items.
It was conceded his client had previous convictions for similar offending and that he had received terms of imprisonment in the past, Mr Skuse submitted.
Acting Magistrate Robert Walker described the level of Turnbull's offending "at the lower end" but noted his lengthy criminal history.
"The aggravating feature in your case is that at the age of 45 you have accumulated seven pages of criminal history," Mr Walker told the prisoner.
Declaring 36 days pre-sentence custody as time already served under the penalty, Mr Walker sentenced Turnbull to four months in jail but ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole immediately.
Mr Walker declined to make orders for restitution.