Two years’ community correction order and a fine for theft

RAYMOND Terrace local Benjamin Carpenter has been dealt a two-year community corrections order following March stealing offences.

Mr Carpenter was out of cash when he walked into Woolworths at Salamander Bay on 20 March and filled his shopping trolley with $403 worth of groceries.

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A police statement to Raymond Terrace Local Court said that he covered the contents of his trolley with two pillows and strategically went through two closed cash registers blocked by empty trolleys.

Carpenter then went to Liquorland where he obtained $136 worth of alcohol, leaving via the external entrance into the outdoor car park without paying.

At approximately 4pm on the same day, Mr Carpenter allegedly attended a service station at Salamander Bay and with a bit of white paper towel covering his front number plate, filled his car with $142 worth of fuel.

Police from the Port Stephens Hunter Police District were at the station for an unrelated matter and were approached by staff stating that Carpenter had not paid for his fuel.

They approached Carpenter who admitted he had no access to funds to pay for the petrol and offered to leave his phone and wallet with them and return in a couple of hours with the cash.

Police ran a check and found that he was wanted for an unrelated stealing matter.

Police searched Mr Carpenter, finding bank cards that accessed only empty bank accounts and a few trays of stolen sausages.

Carpenter was taken to the Nelson Bay police station, where he was charged with two counts of larceny.

He allegedly refused to be interviewed.

He was additionally charged for a $250 stealing offence in Forster in late 2021.

Police stopped Carpenter again on 22 April in Raymond Terrace, just more than a month after his arrest, where it was noticed that he was not wearing a seatbelt and had been suspended from driving following a low-range drink driving matter.

Raymond Terrace Local Court heard Carpenter had struggled with drug addiction on and off since first drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis at the age of 12 and had a criminal history dating back to 2005, but has since achieved abstinence.

Carpenter was ordered to pay a fine of $500 regarding the stolen goods and serve a two-year community corrections order.


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