April 12, 2024

The cost-of-living crisis – combined with a change in circumstances – landed a 55-year-old Kingaroy pensioner in court for the first time in her life on Friday.

The woman, whom southburnett.com.au has chosen not to name, was charged with stealing a shopping trolley full of food from the Kingaroy IGA supermarket on March 8.

The items were valued at $254.71.

Kingaroy Magistrates Court was told the woman was challenged by an IGA staff member after she left the store without paying.

“She said she had no money and she wanted to put food on the table. She had to pay the bills for her and her son,” Police Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said.

“All goods were returned and she was extremely regretful for her actions.”

The woman pleaded guilty to one charge of stealing.

Duty lawyer Jay Rose said the woman was receiving a disability support pension of $400 a week.

The woman had been caring for her two teenaged sons but when one went to live with his father, her income had dropped.

She was also the sole person paying the $500 mortgage payments per fortnight as well as $150 to Ergon and other minor payments,  leaving her with about $115 per fortnight to feed both her and her 17-year-old son.

Ms Rose said the woman had now been referred to South Burnett CTC and had been made aware of social services in the community which could help her.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair told the woman she had proven she had been a law-abiding citizen up until these circumstances.

He placed her on a $500 good behaviour bond for six months, with no conviction recorded.