CHARGED: A 41-year-old man has been sentenced after he claimed he stole to help struggling youth on the streets.
CHARGED: A 41-year-old man has been sentenced after he claimed he stole to help struggling youth on the streets. MAXPIXEL

Grafton PayWave thief behind bars

A GRAFTON man sentenced to at least nine months in jail has attributed his actions to helping struggling youth on the streets.

David Kenneth Joy, 41, appeared via video link before Grafton Local Court on Monday on single counts of entering a vehicle without consent of the owner and larceny, five counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and custody of a knife in a public place.

Joy pleaded guilty to all charges. Representing himself, he claimed he had turned to stealing to help "single mums and kids on the street" on his return to Grafton a few weeks ago.

"I just got sick of hearing about young kids living on the street, and youth suicide," Joy told the court.

"So I said, 'Stuff that, I'm going to start stealing again.'

"I was hungry and I spent his money, sorry miss."

Police facts tendered to the court alleged Joy broke into a car parked at a Grafton residence on the night of March 31 and took a man's wallet.

According to court documents, Joy then went on a shopping spree at South Grafton service stations, using payWave to spend $401.77 on the victim's bank cards.

The court heard CCTV footage from BP and Caltex service stations aided police in identifying Joy.

Three days after the first offence, the court heard, police responded to a call that a man was sleeping on the lawn of a Grafton home. Upon their arrival at the house, officers followed Joy to Prince St as he attempted a quick getaway.

Police arrested Joy and found a Japanese-style kitchen knife with a 1.5cm-width blade in his backpack.

"It's my fishing knife you d----head," Joy said to police according to court documents.

Magistrate Karen Stafford pointed to Joy's "very bad" record as a significant need to impose a penalty to prevent further offending.

Joy was sentenced to 18 months' jail with a non-parole period of nine months backdated to the day of the offence.

Upon hearing his sentence, Joy said he was "disgusted", stood up and raised his middle finger at Ms Stafford.

Ms Stafford said contactless payment card offences carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

"It happens a lot in Grafton, cars are broken into and cards are taken," she said.