Man who stole $15,000 rud­der thought it was his

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS COURT -

A NEW South Wales man has been or­dered to pay more than $5000 af­ter steal­ing a rud­der from Abell Point Ma­rina.

Al­though he said he never in­tended to steal the rud­der, val­ued at $15,000, Maged Samir An­drawes, 52, pleaded guilty to the charge when he ap­peared in Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Bern­hard Berger said char­ter com­pany Whit­sun­day Es­cape no­ticed their rud­der was miss­ing af­ter they had re­moved it for re­pairs. Af­ter leav­ing it on the jetty arm where it was docked at Abell Point Ma­rina on May 23, an em­ployee no­ticed it was gone on June 1. Af­ter em­ploy­ing a diver to check it had not been pushed into the wa­ter they re­ported it stolen.

Mr Berger said the com­pany had the ves­sel booked for a char­ter to the value of $4370 and it had to be can­celled.

On June 4 the rud­der was seen on a ves­sel docked in the Air­lie Beach area and it was re­ported to po­lice. No one was on board but po­lice took the rud­der and re­turned it to the com­pany.

Po­lice con­tacted An­drawes and he later par­tic­i­pated in an in­ter­view.

He said he had pur­chased a cy­clone- dam­aged yacht for $6000 and was col­lect­ing it at the ma­rina when he re­alised there was no rud­der at­tached. He went to the ma­rina to look for the rud­der and af­ter mak­ing en­quiries, found the Whit­sun­day Es­cape rud­der and took it be­liev­ing it was his, he told po­lice.

Af­ter po­lice spoke with wit­nesses, they ar­rested An­drawes on July 1 af­ter he said he was sail­ing to Syd­ney and his home-made wooden rud­der on his ves­sel broke and had to be towed.

Duty lawyer El­iz­a­beth Smith said An­drawes had picked the boat up on May 18 and it had been moved around the ma­rina dur­ing cy­clone re­pairs.

“When he found the rud­der, it was near where it had been (berthed) at one stage,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said he thought the spec­i­fi­ca­tions seemed to fit the size of his new ves­sel and that he had made no at­tempts to hide the rud­der, think­ing it was his.

Mag­is­trate Ron Muir­head or­dered that An­drawes pay resti­tu­tion to the com­pany of $4370 for the can­celled char­ter and fined him $750 with a con­vic­tion.

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