Lindeman caretaker broke trust
A 52-YEAR-OLD former Lindeman Island caretaker faced Proserpine Magistrates Court last week, pleading guilty to unlawful possession of stolen property.
Brian George Pearson was one of a skeleton staff of three who continued to live in and look after the Lindeman Island resort after it closed six years ago, the court was told.
Defence lawyer Barbara Mendelssohn said on a trip to the mainland in November the caretakers had been informed they were no longer employed and could return to the island to get their belongings.
Pearson had loaded his belongings onto a pallet to be transported and company property could be seen through the plastic wrapping.
Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Hannah Beard said the items included tools, sports equipment and cooking utensils, estimated to be $8900 in value.
Ms Mendelssohn told the court her client had made admissions to stealing the smaller value items, however, a welder worth $2500 and telescope were gifted to him by previous managers.
"Unfortunately his manager passed away and could not verify this,” she said.
"He said he purchased the cooking equipment himself.
"When the resort shut down, the majority of supplies was given to the local Lions and Rotary but the rest was left in factory storage on the island.”
Magistrate Simon Young said Pearson's age and lack of criminal history stood to his credit.
"I do note you have worked hard and a raised a family and this can be considered out of character for you,” Mr Young said.
"These particular set of actions involves a betrayal of trust.”
Pearson was fined $1000, with no conviction recorded, as Mr Young said it would provide a disproportionate penalty in affecting Pearson's new employment.
All items were returned.