A 34-year-old man has been sentenced after he stole a woman’s handbag at a Grafton pub.
A 34-year-old man has been sentenced after he stole a woman’s handbag at a Grafton pub.

Purse snatcher caused ‘significant distress’ court hears

AN OPPORTUNISTIC thief who swiped a woman's handbag while she rehearsed for a musical theatre performance at a Grafton pub has faced court.

Ernest Edward Davis, 34, appeared in Grafton Local Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to larceny (less than $2000).

The court heard that on February 8 this year Davis entered a pub in Grafton and saw a purse unattended on a table. According to court documents Davis was captured on CCTV entering another room and pulled his jumper's hood over his face before returning to the table and snatching the purse before leaving.

Davis' solicitor Michael Lantis submitted to the court that his client was under the influence of drugs at the time of the offence and was trying to obtain funds to feed his drug habit.

Mr Lantis said his client's actions were opportunistic and unsophisticated and that Davis was remorseful for his actions.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said while she acknowledged that Davis had taken full responsibility for the crime, thought needed to be given to the victim of the matter.

"It's no small thing to have your valuables stolen like this while going about your daily business," she said.

"This kind of theft including a mobile phone and a variety of cards can cause a lot of stress in people's lives and I have no doubt the victim would have been significantly distressed by the loss of valuables."

Davis was handed a one-month prison term, and ordered to pay the victim $1000 compensation.

Davis was also sentenced for seven charges of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception relating to a separate incident where he racked up $244.37 of charges on a credit card he found in January, and handed an 18-month community corrections order.



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