IN COURT: Taylah Le Masso, 26 .
IN COURT: Taylah Le Masso, 26 .

Why woman stole wallet from elderly man at shopping centre

A WOMAN who brazenly stole an elderly man's wallet containing $1000 in cash from his shopping trolley at Northside Plaza had returned to using drugs after fleeing domestic violence.

Taylah Le Masso, 26, pleaded guilty on November 22 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one charge of stealing, one of possessing methamphetamines, one possessing a used syringe, one stealing from Woolworths and one possessing property reasonably suspected of being stolen.

Defence lawyer Lauren Townsend said Masso had fled Ipswich from a domestic violence situation.

Police prosecutor Shayne Studdert said Masso stole $429 of groceries from Woolworths North Ipswich about 1pm on August 18.

He said police located her and the groceries at a bus stop and half the items were salvageable.

Police also found Masso in possession of mascara and a watch that had been stolen from Kmart with Masso identified on CCTV going into the store after Woolworths.

She told police she had taken the Kmart items for her daughter and she had no money to pay for the groceries.

On November 12 at 9.50am, Masso and a co-offender were at Northside Plaza where an elderly man was pushing his trolley.

Masso approached the man from behind and "snatched” his wallet, which contained $1063.40 and cards.

The incident was captured on CCTV.

Police found Masso later that day in Kawana hiding under a bed with less than a gram of meth and a used syringe in her bag.

Ms Townsend said Masso, a mother of seven, had fled the domestic violence situation with two of her children and had being staying with family who had supported her.

She said Masso had been clean of drugs but turned back after being assaulted by her father.

Masso was on parole at the time of the offending.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale lectured Masso on being a role model to her children.

"You've got seven kids. You've got a lot of responsibility. You need to set an example,” she said.

"You have a terrible history of like offending.”

Masso was ordered to an eight-month prison term with parole eligibility on November 22 and to pay restitution of $1274.75.

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