Court hears about string of thefts

A SERIAL thief and aspiring personal trainer stuffed a Rubik's cube, Yahtzee dice game and clock down his pants, a court has heard.

Michael Anthony Slater, 39, faced the Launceston Magistrates Court from the dock yesterday.

He was due to be sentenced for 19 offences, including nine counts of stealing, four driving offences, and having destroyed and injured property.

Magistrate Simon Brown ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned Slater's matters for sentence on Monday at 2.15pm.

Police prosecutor Natalie Clark told the court that Slater's offences occurred between September 2012 and April this year.

She said he stole goods from retailers including Kings Meadows Coles, Ulverstone Woolworths, Ulverstone Harris Scarfe, Launceston BWS in Wellington Street and Launceston Sports Rider Motorcycles.

Goods stolen included televisions, groceries, a vacuum cleaner, cartons of alcohol and a KTM 50CC dirt bike.

The total value of the items was about $4000 and most goods were not recovered.

Mrs Clark said Slater's crimes included theft of two cartons of Jim Beam and cola from the BWS Wellington Street store in January 2013, where he verbally abused staff, climbed onto the counter, smashed a carton of beer and knocked down a security gate.

Slater also stole from Freddies Tobacconist in George Town a week earlier, when he put a clock and a Rubik's cube down the front of his shorts, and a Yahtzee game down the back of his shorts, she said.

Mrs Clark said Slater also drank alcohol in the stands of Launceston Aquatic Centre in September 2012 and when questioned by staff, opened and drank another can, then left after stealing swimming fins from the shop.

Defence solicitor James Oxley said his client had been institutionalised for most of his life and wanted to rehabilitate by becoming a fitness instructor.