Michael Haig leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing a $500 jacket.
Michael Haig leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing a $500 jacket.

Dad strapped for cash when he stole $500 jacket

A DAD claimed he was struggling financially when he made the decision to steal an expensive jacket which he planned to on-sell for cash.

In a brazen theft, the man walked out of a Kathmandu store with the jacket while security alarms were sounding, showing staff one of his bags before leaving.

The stolen $500 jacket with its security tag still attached was in a second bag he carried.

Michael Barry Haig, 44, from Redbank Plains, pleaded guilty to stealing at Jindalee on February 27.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Lowe told Ipswich Magistrates Court that store staff reported the theft at 3.50pm.

She said when security sensors beeped the man opened only a yellow bag he carried to show staff but a brown bag that held the jacket was not opened.

He then left the Kathmandu store in a hurry.

Snr Const. Lowe said CCTV showed Haig carrying two shopping bags and folding a black item of clothing into a brown bag.

“His tattoos were clearly visible,” she said.

A witness took the registration of Haig’s car when he left the car park.

Two weeks later, when interviewed by police, Haig was wearing the same clothes depicted on the store CCTV.

“He recalled being stopped by staff but denied taking any clothes,” Snr Const. Lowe said.

The jacket was not located and police sought $500 restitution to be paid to the store.

Haig represented himself in court saying: “I don’t know what came over me that day”.

“I had just got custody of children and I had to leave work,” Haig said.

“Centrelink was not paying me enough, $840 a fortnight and I was paying $700 in rent.”

“I saw the jacket and thought I’d sell it.”

“Is that what you did,” Magistrate Virginia Sturgess asked.

“Yes,” Haig responded.

“Mr Haig it is clearly criminal behaviour. It is not an excuse to steal,” Ms Sturgess said.

Haig said he gave up work to look after children.

Ms Sturgess said he needed to be able to manage on what income he received.

He was convicted and fined $400 and ordered to pay $500 restitution.