$3000 breach of trust
A MIDGE Point man who took jewellery to Cash Converters without the owner’s permission appeared in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with stealing and fraud.
In 2012, Bruce John Gerhard and his then partner allegedly discussed the possibility of melting some of her jewellery down into gold.
In July that year, Gerhard was given 15 pieces of jewellery to take to a jeweller in Bowen for an appraisal.
The court heard that instead, he took the jewellery to the Mackay Cash Converters where it was exchanged for a $1900 three-month loan.
According to police prosecutor Elizabeth Cassells the relationship ended and in March 2013 the victim became aware of what had happened.
She attended the Cash Converters store only to be told her jewellery had been sent to Maroochydore to sell.
On January 1, 2014, Whitsunday detectives caught up with Gerhard who told them he needed the loan to pay some bills and had been trying to borrow money from an employer to buy the jewellery back.
Ms Cassells said of the 15 items, nine had been sold.
While the owner of the jewellery did not ask for restitution, a $1900 claim for Cash Converters was sought.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said this was not just about the money but about the personal value of the items and what he described as an “abhorrent breach of trust”.
Gerhard was ordered to pay the $1900 restitution, on top of an $1100 fine.