Roy Hobbs.
Roy Hobbs. Jann Houley

Brazen robbery 'might have contributed' to retiree's death

A RETIREE who was robbed while shopping has died just months before he was due to take a dream holiday.

Roy Hobbs died on December 1, aged 85.

His grieving wife Patricia Hobbs said a brazen daylight robbery at the City Centre Plaza did not help his ailing health.

"Being upset and robbed certainly didn't help, it might even have contributed," Ms Hobbs said.

The couple's story came to public attention after Mr Hobbs grandson started a GoFundMe page to get back some of the $1100 stolen from his grandfather.

The money was snatched out of Mr Hobbs' hand and from his shopping trolley as he was leaving the City Centre Plaza doors on November 12.

The retired miner carried a secret stash of cash with him as he wanted to surprise his wife with a visit to her family in Scotland.

He told The Morning Bulletin on November 15 they would travel in May 2019 "if their health holds out". 

Sadly, Mr Hobbs passed away within weeks of thanking locals for their generous donations and best wishes.

His widow says it was a "godsend' he didn't suffer during the 13 days he spent in hospital after he suddenly fell ill at the couple's Norman Gardens retirement home.

"He didn't want to leave me; I had to talk him into it," Mrs Hobbs said.

"He's always taken such good care of our family and now they're taking marvellous care of me."

The GoFundMe campaign made $1,900 for the couple's dream holiday which Mrs Hobbs says she may yet take "but not at the end of May as planned, maybe the year after".

Of the thief who marred her husband's final days, Mrs Hobbs simply said: "She was old enough to know better."

"She shouldn't have done that."

Taylah Le Masso pleaded guilty on November 22 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one charge of stealing, one of possessing methamphetamines, one possessing a used syringe, one stealing from Woolworths and one possessing property reasonably suspected of being stolen.

Masso, whom the magistrate said had "a terrible history of like offending", was ordered to an eight-month prison term with parole eligibility on November 22 and to pay restitution of $1274.75.