Matty Holdsworth

Grant Noel Norton faced the Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning for stealing $132.93 of fuel on three separate occasions, driving unlicensed and drink driving.

Judge Cameron Press accepted the 53-year-old’s early guilty plea for all five charges and dealt out three six-month sentences, each to be served concurrently.

The court heard on January 19, 2016, Norton entered a BP service station in Yeppoon, put in $35.40 worth of diesel fuel, attempted to pay with his card which was declined before driving off.

The second offence on February 4 was for $20.30 at a Puma service station where the small business owner made no attempts to pay.

Lammermoor store was the third offence where a female accomplice pumped in $77.23 worth of diesel into his white utility before the pair left the store without no attempts to pay.

Mr Press took into account the defendant’s previous criminal history which included a similar stealing offence in 2014, but said he had “improved his ways over the last 10 years”.

“Stealing diesel or petrol is a serious offence,” Mr Press told the court.

“You put the service stations and community to the expense. And the police and the courts.

“If you keep up this type of behaviour you run the risk of more imprisonment.”

Separate to his stealing offences, Norton also pleaded guilty to two traffic offences on March 3 this year.

He was driving friends to a pub on Lakes Creek Rd when he was intercepted by police and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.087. He was also driving unlicensed at the time.

After his early guilty plea Judge Press decided the pre-sentenced time in custody was sufficient punishment for the traffic offences, but disqualified his license for a further three months.

Norton was released on parole having already several weeks in custody.

Extracted in full from Central Queensland News.