Mathew Small pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday.
Mathew Small pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday.

Booze thief faces indecent treatment of child charge

A man with a thirst for free booze has faced court for breaking into a Coast business and emptying their after-work drinks stash.

Mathew Shane Small, 45, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to entering a premises and committing indictable offence.

He was also facing a charge of indecent treatment of children under 16, which was adjourned.

The court heard on an unknown date, Small broke into the Cooroy Legal Centre and stole alcohol and petty cash.

Police prosecutor Stephen Potter told the court the business was locked and secured on October 19, 2018 and on October 22 at 7.15am the informant found the business had been broken into, with entry being gained through the front window.

"She found the person had stolen liquor, petty cash from inside from the fridge and liquor from the internal laundry area," he said.

The court heard Small had stolen five bottles of wine, 12 bottles of beer and $20 cash.

Fingerprints were found by police which matched Small.

Police spoke with Small at his home on March 9.

The court heard he stated "he did it," but didn't say anything further.

Small's lawyer Luke Bull said a fine would be suitable due to Small's lack of criminal history.

"On the time of committing the offence he instructs he was drinking in excess," he said.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin fined Small $900 and ordered him to pay $160 restitution to the business.

The indecent treatment charge was adjourned until August 3.

"You're not to have any contact with the child, do you know who that child is?" Ms Baldwin asked.

"No, I don't know her," Small answered.


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