Tragic past revealed as man sentenced for nursing home theft

HE STOLE $2000 from his employer, leaving his fingerprints behind, which would ultimately lead to his arrest.

But a court has heard how a series of terrible events led to the offending.

The 22-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to one count of stealing by clerks and servants when he appeared before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Friday.

The court heard the man was an assistant nurse at a Fraser Coast nursing home when he stole the money from a safe.

A forensic examination of the scene led to the discovery of the man's fingerprints.

The court heard it was a serious breach of trust with his employer.

But the man's tragic past was revealed.

The man had been kicked in the head by a horse when he was two, leading to learning difficulties later in life.

He had been functionally illiterate until Year 8 in school when he had taught himself to read with the help of playing computer games.

His reading improved so much he was able to complete Year 12, passing all his subjects.

His father was seriously injured in a crash when a bottle was thrown at his vehicle on the highway.

His father was left with an acquired brain injury as a result of the crash and the man had provided care, taking his dad to most of his medical appointments.

The man's best friend had been killed in a car crash, which had a great deal of impact on him, the court was told.

In 2018, the man welcomed a son with his then-partner.

When the relationship broke down, allegations of domestic violence were made.

Child services became involved and made the discovery the boy had aged rib fractures.

The man was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.

His blue card was automatically suspended and it was pointless to make an application to see his son.

Those circumstances had led to the man falling into a depression, the court heard.

Ultimately the charge was dismissed when it was found the man had never had sole care of the child when the fractures could have occurred.

The court heard the theft of the money was not premeditated but opportunistic and the money had been repaid.

He had resigned from his position at the nursing home and had been working casually in various jobs since then.

The man was hoping to find a position as a support worker, the court heard.

He was sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid community service placed on probation for 12 months.

No conviction was recorded.