Man stole teacher's purse

A QBUILD employee who stole a teacher’s purse from a classroom at Warwick West State School has been fined $500 in the Warwick Magistrates Court.

Timothy Gordon John Garrett, 31, appeared before Magistrate Anne Thacker yesterday morning charged with stealing, after an incident which took place on the afternoon of January 25.

The court heard a female teacher had left her handbag containing the purse in a classroom while she took a group of pupils to another school building for a music lesson shortly before 2.30pm.

During her absence, another school employee observed Garrett in the classroom acting suspiciously and inquired as to what he was doing. Garrett replied that he was a QBuild inspector.

When the teacher returned to her classroom she found that her purse – which contained a sum of money and a Visa card – was missing.

The purse was later found in a storeroom on the school grounds and police questioned Garrett, who was later charged with the theft.

He admitted to stealing the purse and removing $25 and a Visa card, which he returned to the teacher along with $20 of the stolen money before his court appearance.

The court was told Garrett, who is listed as living in Toowoomba, had a master key which gave him access to all areas of the school.

Magistrate Thacker told Garrett that employees of Education Queensland had every right to be able to leave their personal belongings in a school classroom without fear of them being interfered with.

She also told Garrett that he held a “responsible position” as a QBuild employee.

In handing down her sentence, she noted that Garrett had a previous conviction for a dishonesty offence from 2001, when he went through court on a charge of entering a premises to commit an indictable offence.

As well as fining Garrett $500 and recording a conviction against him, she yesterday ordered him to pay the remaining $5 to the clerk of the court, to be returned to the teacher.

Garrett handed over the money in loose change taken from his wallet before leaving the courtroom.

The Daily News inquired yesterday as to Garrett’s current employment status but QBuild had not responded by time of printing.


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