Small-busi­ness theft con­cern

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News | Times -

The Mar­garet River Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try has voiced dis­ap­point­ment at re­cent thefts from shops and echoed con­cerns about a mag­is­trate’s sen­tenc­ing re­marks.

The com­ments fol­low a case last month in which a man was sen­tenced af­ter plead­ing guilty to thefts from Home Tim­ber and Hard­ware on Novem­ber 18.

At the time, sen­tenc­ing mag­is­trate Brian Ma­hon put the of­fender on a 12-month com­mu­nity-based or­der with 100 hours of com­mu­nity work.

When con­sid­er­ing pun­ish­ment op­tions for the of­fences, Mr Ma­hon noted thefts from busi­nesses were “tragic”, but there was an ar­gu­ment they had a lesser im­pact than thefts from house­hold­ers.

In its lat­est news­let­ter, the cham­ber re­minded res­i­dents busi­nesses were mostly owned by lo­cal fam­i­lies.

“The cham­ber was dis­ap­pointed to hear that one of our most re- spected, gen­er­ous, long-term mem­bers has re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced re­peat theft from a past em­ployee, re­sult­ing in a court hear­ing,” the news­let­ter said.

“Even more up­set­ting were the (sen­tenc­ing) com­ments from the mag­is­trate.

“Steal­ing from their busi­ness is akin to steal­ing from their house­hold.

“Small busi­nesses are the back­bone of our com­mu­nity and must be pro­tected and sup­ported by all.”

The of­fender was also fined $300 plus costs.

Steal­ing from their busi­ness is akin to steal­ing from their house­hold. Mar­garet River Cham­ber of Com­merce

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