Beutiful You Cancer Charity founder Vince Clayton.
Beutiful You Cancer Charity founder Vince Clayton. Patrick Woods

Thief's sentence leaves charity bosses 'flabbergasted'

CHARITY shop thief Carol Anne Sloane's apology to her victims has done little to quell their rage.

The 67-year-old retiree pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Friday to stealing donated goods between July and September from outside Beautiful You Cancer Charity op shop in Maroochydore.

Her sentence, 80 hours of community service with no conviction recorded, has left the charity flabbergasted, according to a post on its Facebook page.

Founder Vince Clayton had wanted a tougher penalty and had sought $5000 compensation.

A letter Mr Clayton submitted to the court before the sentencing asked that the magistrate be "extremely harsh" on the defendant.

He said he had CCTV footage of the thefts.


Beautiful You Cancer Charity has posted images online of donated goods stolen from their Maroochydore op shop.
Beautiful You Cancer Charity has posted images online of donated goods stolen from their Maroochydore op shop. Contributed

"The stealing from this particular person over such a long and extended period, left one of our team leaders so upset that she was in tears at what this person had been doing," Mr Clayton's letter read.

"Many of these donations are brand new and expensive items, donated mostly on Sunday afternoons.

"Between our main team leader and myself we have estimated that we have lost somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand dollars."

He said in the letter he had been told the defendant was selling items for personal profit at Sunday markets.

"We also ask that our charity receive $5000 in restitution, in a timely manner so as we can continue the work we do to help our cancer ladies."

Mr Clayton also noted the charity had received a letter of apology from Sloane on November 14.

"Our charity refuses to accept any part of this attempt of (a) confession.

"Mrs Sloane had six weeks from the time I caught her stealing until the police arrested and charged her.

"If she is truly sorry for her actions she would have contacted us much sooner.

"This is only an attempt to make herself look better in the eyes of the court, please don't fall for it."

Sloane's handwritten, signed apology letter was also submitted to the court along with a membership certificate from Mooloolaba Lionesses from 2015 and a certificate of appreciation from the Lionesses from last year.

"This is a letter of apology for the taking of some donated goods from outside of your store which I deeply regret," the letter read.

"I have chronic insomnia, which is why I go for drives in the early hours of the mornings.

"For years I have seen the pilfering that goes on at the op shops along Aerodrome Rd.

"In recent months I got caught up in it myself."

She said it started with a couple of items of clothing and quickly became a compulsive obsession that she could not stop.

"I actually did not like what I was doing I knew there was a camera at your store.

"I guess I was tempting fate."

Sloane said she believed in giving back to the community and had volunteered at several op shops.

"I have sorted donated goods of which 80 per cent is rubbish.

"I have handled dirty clothes, household waste, broken goods and even dirty nappies things that people do not want to pay tip fees for.

"As long as people leave goods after hours and under the cover of darkness, there will always be someone there to take them but it just won't be me."