Man guilty of stealing from freight group
A former Toll IPEC Karratha employee has been sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term for stealing goods he handled as part of his work.
Slate Novak appeared in Karratha Magistrate’s Court last week charged with 11 counts of stealing as an employee, as well as charges of possession of methamphetamine and ecstasy. Novak pleaded guilty to all charges. He stole items from packages transported by Toll IPEC over almost 12 months, about one year into his term of employment with the company.
Police arrested Novak and conducted a search at the Toll IPEC office on October 2 last year.
Novak was also charged with two counts of possessing prohibited drugs.
Legal Aid lawyer Leanne Wykes told the court her client was well educated and a qualified carpenter who had struggled to find employment and been living in a storage shed in the months since the stealing charges were laid.
She said he had stolen the items opportunistically at a time when he felt resentment towards his former employer over a perceived excessive workload.
He had also been using drugs recreationally during the period of offending.
Police prosecutor John Hart requested a term of imprisonment, saying stealing as a servant was notoriously difficult to detect, a breach of trust and endangered an employer’s reputation, especially in a small town.
Magistrate Richard Huston said the offences were serious and the penalty should be a deterrent to others.
He took into account Novak’s early guilty plea and the fact he had already spent 21⁄2 months in custody in handing down the maximum suspended prison sentence of two years.
For the drug offences, Magistrate Huston issued an 18-month intensive supervision order, including alcohol and drug counselling.