Woolworths thief told she's dressed inappropriately

Woolworths at the Gladstone Central Plaza is up for sale.
Woolworths at the Gladstone Central Plaza is up for sale. Paul Braven GLA150317WOOLIES

HER stomach exposed, a young Gladstone woman was told the next time she walked into a courtroom, to cover herself up.

Ambah Margaret Akai was at the Gladstone Magistrates Court to enter a plea of guilty to one count of stealing.

However, the 17-year-old found herself copping a stern word of advice from the magistrate that her choice of outfit was not appropriate for a courtroom.

"Next time, wear a coat or something," Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho said.


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It was unfortunate timing as just as it looked like her sentence was about to begin, Akai's mobile phone, which should have been switched off as per the courtroom rules, rang out loudly.

With all of the commotion out of the way, the court was told Akai's offending occurred on May 30 at the Gladstone Square Woolworths.

She walked into the supermarket, grabbed a packet of steaks and walked straight out.

The informant, an employee of the store, told police Akai made no attempt to pay and gave the officers a description of the woman.

Officers soon caught up to Aka and asked her about the steaks.

She denied it and proceeded to give police a fake name.

She told police she had no identification on her.

The officers searched her bag and found the $14 worth of steak inside.

They could not be returned to the store in the condition they were found.

The court heard the woman had a criminal history, at only 17-years of age, including public nuisance and obstructing police.

Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said the young teen was also the mother of a one-year-old, and had only recently moved to the region.

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She said her client was 'doing it tough' and didn't have any friends in the region that she could call on for help.

Ms Ho ordered Akai to pay the amount of the steaks back to Woolworths, but did not further punish the woman.

A conviction was not recorded.

Topics:  editors picks gladstonecourt thief woolworths

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