Man's memory of three thefts 'clouded' by prescribed medication

A MAN desperately waiting for his medical records to be released reverted back to his old habits when his doctor's medical centre closed down.

Colin Charles Hughes, a man who suffers from ongoing health problems, landed himself in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday after he was left stranded and in a world of pain.

The court heard when Hughes' medical practice closed down, he was forced to wait to get a hold of his medical records, leaving him without his required medication.

As a result, defence lawyer Brad Krebs told the court his client took additional doses of his already-prescribed medicine, clouding his mind and prompting dishonest behaviour that had been uncharacteristic of him since 1987.

In recent months Gladstone Region has had several medical practices close its doors. On September 21, Gladstone Valley Medical Centre was shut down, prompting a wave of confusion for patients in need of their medical records. The shocking news followed the recent closure of the Calliope Medical Centre, which shut down just one month earlier in August.

The court heard that between August 1-3 Hughes had stolen a number of items from Supercheap Auto Gladstone.

Police prosecutor, acting Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai said on each of the three consecutive occasions, the defendant had removed items such as Tridon electronic relays and electrical connectors from their packaging before hiding them under his clothes and walking out of the auto store.

He said at least two of the thefts had been caught on CCTV cameras, but when questioned about the incidents by police, Hughes seemed confused and surprised.

"He's not too sure what's going on ... his mind was clouded," Mr Krebs said.

He added that when his client realised what he'd done, he returned to the shop and paid for some of the items.

Magistrate Melanie Ho fined the defendant $400 and ordered he pay $120 in restitution to the business.

A conviction was recorded.



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