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Cartoon cat inspires felonious act

Garfield is the inspiration for a hobby that landed a man in court recently.
Garfield is the inspiration for a hobby that landed a man in court recently.

THE fat cat may have sat on the mat but it was Berwyn Richard Reid that stole the mat for the said fat cat.

It is also what landed Mr Reid in the Emerald Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of stealing.

The court heard Mr Reid and his partner have a hobby of photographing Garfield, the cartoon cat, sitting on various things and the Toyworld mat was the next on the list when he stole the large mat from the store on February 15.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Robyn Schapcott told the court at 12.53pm, Toyworld CCTV recorded Mr Reid taking the large floor mat, valued at $350, from the rear of the store where it was hanging up to dry.

At 1.45pm that day, a Toyworld employee showed Emerald police the video footage of the theft.

Later that day, officers located the car from the security footage in a local shopping centre carpark.

They saw the mat on the floor in the car and questioned the owner, identified as Mr Reid, about it.

He initially denied any knowledge of the mat, but later accepted he’d taken it and explained he only wanted to take some photos of the mat.

Solicitor Elvina Ogil told the court Mr Reid and his partner have an “unusual” hobby of taking photos of the lasagne-loving feline in different locations, and he had wanted to take a photo on the mat.

“It explains why he took it but shows he had no intention of keeping the mat,” she said.

“He didn’t deny he had it, and he only took it for hobby purposes.

“He has since apologised to the Toyworld owners.”

She said the offence was out of character for her client who has maintained full-time employment in the Bowen Basin area for decades.

Because Mr Reid holds various weapons licences, Ms Ogil asked that no conviction be recorded so as to not effect his permits.

Mgst Ron Muirhead confirmed Mr Reid, a rigging contractor, had returned the mat to the toy store before he handed down his sentence.

He fined him $200 for the offence.

The conviction was not recorded.


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