Woman faces court for not paying $1.44 for cat food

GYMPIE Magistrate M Baldwin yesterday exercised mercy on a woman whose offence she described as "the most stupid thing I've heard about today or maybe forever".

"I'm allowing you the benefit of the doubt," the magistrate told a woman whose offence was almost too petty to be thought deliberate.

Prosecuting police told the court no restitution was sought because the amount involved was "too small to process."

Lauren Jane Donkin, 30, of Gympie, pleaded guilty to failing to declare cat food worth $1.44 as she attempted to pass through a Gympie supermarket checkout last month.

The court was told she had attended Gympie IGA supermarket at 10.24am on April 13, which may have been an unlucky date.

Police said Donkin told them she had forgotten to check for undeclared goods in her handbag.

Donkin's legal representative said Donkin would have willingly paid for the cat food.

"She had the money and it was an oversight," he told Mrs Baldwin, adding that she had forgotten the cat food when she paid for other items.

Mrs Baldwin discharged Donkin with no punishment or conviction but said she was giving her the benefit of the doubt.

"Putting anything near a handbag, that's likely to fall in...

"Let this be the biggest lesson to you and others," she said.

Gympie Times

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