A 20-year-old was held down by four people outside Woolworths at Big Top Maroochydore after allegedly stealing food and tobacco.
A 20-year-old was held down by four people outside Woolworths at Big Top Maroochydore after allegedly stealing food and tobacco. Contributed

Why 'shoplifter' has no rights despite Woolies smackdown

AN ALLEGED shoplifter who appears to have been held in a stranglehold by Woolworths employees would have no compensation rights, even if he was seriously injured in the incident, says personal injury lawyer Travis Schultz.

Earlier this week, footage emerged of Maroochydore staff, a woman and a security guard holding down the alleged shoplifter at the Big Top Shopping Centre.

One of the employees is seen with his hand around the 20-year-old man's throat, while three others hold his arms and legs (pictured).

But the Travis Schultz Law principal says the young man would have little rights if he were injured, due to a recent decision handed down by the Queensland Supreme Court.

"Any person who is injured while committing an indictable offence, is not going to have any rights to claim compensation even if negligence was on (the) part of someone else," Mr Schultz said. "It doesn't matter how grossly negligent or criminally negligent it was."

He said the case of Brown versus Logan City Council, decided by Justice Peter Davis in March, set a precedence.

"Until then, there had been no cases on those sort of facts, so it really gave guidance," Mr Schutlz said.

In that case, a woman was found guilty driving onto the wrong side of a road, crashing into another vehicle head-on.

"Her defence, was that she got confused on the wrong side of the road because council hadn't resealed the roads properly," he said.

"But she was found to have driven the vehicle dangerously in an indictable offence. So the council's defence was upheld, even if the council was negligent with its roadworks. She essentially lost her rights."

The 20-year-old Brisbane man was charged with stealing and will appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on May 8.



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