Manager calls stolen phone, rings from patron's back pocket
A PUB patron was caught red-handed with a courtesy bus driver's stolen phone when it rang from his back pocket, a court was told.
But Jamie Craig Cockerill was so intoxicated he thought the mobile phone was his own.
That's what Cockerill told the court after he pleaded guilty to stealing in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
On July 13 about 8.35pm Cockerill arrived at the Agnes Water Tavern via the tavern's courtesy bus.
The court was told the driver got out of the bus before Cockerill did.
Once the driver was out of the bus Cockerill picked up the driver's work phone in the centre console.
Cockerill went inside and continued to drink.
Once the courtesy bus driver realised the phone was missing the tavern manager was informed.
The court was told the manager approached Cockerill and asked him to "empty his pockets".
The manager also called the phone, which rang from Cockerill's back pocket.
Police were called and Cockerill kept asking why police were involved.
Officers noted Cockerill was unsteady on his feet.
Police also checked CCTV footage to confirm it was Cockerill who took the phone from the bus.
The court was told Cockerill was only in the Gladstone region for shut-down work and lived in Victoria.
The 49-year-old father told Magistrate Dennis Kinsella he was "very intoxicated" and thought it was his phone.
Cockerill had no criminal history and Mr Kinsella said he had "lived a blameless life".
Cockerill was fined $500 and a conviction was not recorded.