Meat buyer Paul Jarret switched price labels to try and score some bargain beef.
Meat buyer Paul Jarret switched price labels to try and score some bargain beef.

Fraudster caught in cheeky meat price tag swap

FACED with a $12,000 debt from unpaid fines, Paul Jarrett wound up in more trouble after he tried to snag some bargain priced meat while extremely drunk.

His drunken attempt at fraud came undone when he was caught swapping over price tags from cheaper meat  products.

An Ipswich court heard Jarrett then got involved in a nasty argument with a security officer.

The police case did not reveal if the meat was sausages, steak, poultry or pork.

Paul John Jarrett, 45,from Silkstone, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court to attempting fraud at Booval on February 20; and committing public nuisance.

When offered an alternative to paying a fine, Jarrett said he could not do unpaid community service work because he works six days a week and goes to church on Sundays.

Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull said police were called to a disturbance at 6.30pm.

Security staff told police Jarrett tried to pay for meat items but the price stickers on the packs did not match.

He became abusive and started "shaping up" with his fists to one female security officer, saying he would "smash her".

The court was told staff viewed CCTV and saw Jarrett taking discounted stickers off other products and attaching them to the ones he wanted.

CCTV also showed him raising his fist and lunging forward at the female security officer.

"She says she felt intimidated and thought she would be assaulted," Sgt Turnbull said.

"He (at first) said he hadn't tampered with any meat stickers. When told it was on CCTV he laughed at police and did not say anything more."

Jarrett told the court he agreed with the facts.

"Well I have to agree with what has been said on the grounds I was highly intoxicated at the time," Jarrett said.

"I blacked out. I don't recall anything of it.

"Yes I drank an extensive amount of alcohol.

"I don't remember getting home. I should have been locked up. I was extremely intoxicated."

"I went to Woolies and apologised to them as I've been going to the same store for years.

"I stopped drinking in 2018 and got a job. I was going well and had a relapse."

Jarrett told the court he had a SPER debt of about $12,000, which he had reduced from about $15,000.

Jarrett said he was not inclined to do unpaid community service work as alternative to a fine.

"I work six days a week and go to church on Sundays," he said.

Mr Schubert said if he imposed another fine it would make a mockery of the system.

He noted Jarrett's previous offences for public nuisance, and a nine-month jail term imposed in 2015 for an assault causing bodily harm offence.

"You were stealing the meat and got busted. You reacted in a cowardly manner and threatened to smash a woman," Mr Schubert said.

"Your level of intoxication gives you no excuse."

Mr Schubert said that a penalty was required to punish and deter Jarrett.

He imposed a six-month probation order.


Four decades in printing leads to new career as an artist

premium_icon Four decades in printing leads to new career as an artist

“IT’S a great relief for me for galleries to be opening up again.”

Charities slammed at bushfire response inquiry

premium_icon Charities slammed at bushfire response inquiry

The disastrous fire season that devastated NSW and Victoria was made worse by a...

Northern NSW hospitals boost elective surgery capacity

premium_icon Northern NSW hospitals boost elective surgery capacity

THIS is good news for any residents on the waiting list for elective surgery.