A Mackay father of five stole $2500 worth of items from Bunnings at Paget.
A Mackay father of five stole $2500 worth of items from Bunnings at Paget.

Financial distress led to father’s $2500 stealing shame

A father of five told a court he was struggling financially when he stole a vacuum and tools from Bunnings worth more than $2500.

And adding to his run of bad luck, when police searched his home for the stolen goods, officers found marijuana plants.

On October 18, 2020 Luke Stanley Cholava parked his ute at Bunnings in Paget for a spot of shopping.

He selected and paid for a number of items, excluding a $1119 vacuum that he also placed in his vehicle and drove off.

Mackay Magistrates Court heard about a week later, on October 26, he did the exact same thing - selecting and paying for a number of items, excluding two nine-piece toolkits worth $699 each.

Luke Stanley Cholava pleaded guilty to stealing $2500 worth of items from Bunnings at Paget.
Luke Stanley Cholava pleaded guilty to stealing $2500 worth of items from Bunnings at Paget.

 

More stories:

Father of two critically injured in drug-driving crash

Thief hands himself in to police over $6500 bike

Prosecutor Rob Beamish said police went to his home on November 25 and found the toolkit bags after matching Cholava's ute to the one in CCTV footage captured at Bunnings.

During a search of the man's home, officers also found 11 marijuana plants.

Cholava told officers he was growing the drugs for his own personal use. He admitted he smoked marijuana for pain management because legal painkillers failed to work.

The 45 year old pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing and one count of producing dangerous drugs. The court heard the tools had been returned but the vacuum was not.

Defence solicitor Geoff Govey, of Taylors Solicitors, said his client was a father of five and the sole carer for his three youngest children.

Unable to work because of his parental commitments, he was on the single parent benefit, the court heard.

The 45-year-old father of five was growing marijuana plants for his own use to help with pain management.
The 45-year-old father of five was growing marijuana plants for his own use to help with pain management.

 

More stories:

'Arrogant' rider jailed over serious crash on rural road

Driver in Nilly case learns if jail term will be slashed

Mr Govey said his client was embarrassed about the charges, adding Cholava had been under a lot of financial difficulty at the time.

Mr Govey said Cholava had no Queensland criminal history - he asked for no convictions recorded and a modest fine.

Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen accepted this was not Cholava's usual conduct but said he could not continue to use marijuana unless it was medically prescribed.

"You present as an unusual case with respect to sentencing, usually people who come before the court with this type of property and this value of property have been here before," Mr Aberdeen said.

"You haven't."

Mr Aberdeen found there was nothing suggesting an ongoing criminal lifestyle.

As a result Cholava was placed on nine months probation and convictions were not recorded.

Subscriber benefits:

How to activate your free Courier-Mail subscription

How to get Daily Mercury news straight to your inbox

Your dose of Harry Bruce cartoons



REVEALED: What issues CQ’s youth raised with Qld MPs

Premium Content REVEALED: What issues CQ’s youth raised with Qld MPs

Here are the major issues that young people in Central Queensland have flagged with...

UK comedian explains why touring regional QLD is vital

Premium Content UK comedian explains why touring regional QLD is vital

He’s feeling over the moon about being able to return to Australia to perform at...

Comedian abuser still committing public nuisance offences

Premium Content Comedian abuser still committing public nuisance offences

A man with a history of public nuisance offences – including throwing a glass at a...