Jack Chetcuti was fined $250 for helping himself to food while browsing at Nick's IGA.
Jack Chetcuti was fined $250 for helping himself to food while browsing at Nick's IGA.

Hefty price tag for food thief’s $5 snack

A LESS than stealthy food thief who gorged on doughnuts and a sausage roll while browsing the aisles of a Mackay supermarket has learned a costly lesson.

The total bill came to just over $5 - but because the 24 year old tried to make off without paying, he now has to fork out $250.

CCTV cameras inside Nick's IGA captured Jack Edward Chetcuti eating the goods while he wandered inside the store about 1pm on March 8 this year.

But Mackay Magistrates Court heard that when he approached the cash register he only paid for a drink and then left.

Prosecutor Joshua Morris said the staff member inside the store reviewed the footage, which showed Chetcuti "open and partially consume" a variety of items.

Empty packages were found throughout the store.

Mr Morris, a barrister, said the items included two packets of jam doughnuts, a sausage roll and a 600ml bottle of soft drink, adding up to $5.70 in total.

Self represented, Chetcuti pleaded guilty to unauthorised dealing with shop goods.

The court heard he voluntarily went to the police station after being contacted and was issued a notice to appear in court.

"When it happened, I wasn't going through a good stage in my life," Chetcuti told the court after Magistrate Damien Dwyer asked if he had anything to say.

"Now I'm working and doing well … yeah, I'm sorry."

Mr Dwyer told Chetcuti the people who ultimately had to pay for his actions were the public, when prices had to be raised "to cover mugs like you".

"You'll find today that it's much more inexpensive to pay for it at the time," Mr Dwyer said.

"Go out and grow up."

Chetcuti was fined $250. A conviction was not recorded.