COURT: Handbag snatched after taxi spat
STEALING a handbag that had been left behind in a taxi landed Robert Joseph Freeman, 48, before Maryborough Magistrates Court.
The court heard a woman and her friend had become involved in an altercation after travelling in the taxi.
The driver left the scene and picked up Freeman.
When he was dropped off, Freeman took the handbag, which contained a phone worth $980, with him.
Freeman was "very intoxicated" when he was placed in the taxi by a friend and had no recollection of taking the bag, the court was told.
The next day he noticed the bag, but assumed it belonged to someone who had been at his home.
"He wasn't of the clearest mind," Defence lawyer Natasha McKeough said.
When police came, Freeman made admissions and was compliant with police, she said.
Freeman was educated to a Year 9 level, and had worked in farming most of his life, Ms MsKeough said.
He had been employed at a local business, but it had been forced to let people go, she said.
Magistrate Terry Duroux said it was fair to say Freeman wasn't a stranger to the courts.
The father of two had a suspended sentence hanging over him in relation to other matters, Mr Duroux said.
He said the offending had happened under "very unusual circumstances" and it didn't justify activating the suspended sentence.
"It was stealing by find essentially," Mr Duroux said.
Mr Duroux extended the operational period of the suspended sentence until September 23.