Adjourned Undertaking for Shoptheft

This is a case study on a sentence of adjourned undertaking for shoptheft. The case proceeded as a plea of guilty. After a plea in mitigation, the client avoided conviction and was ordered to comply with an adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour, and to continue to receive treatment from her psychiatrist.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with shoptheft involving a property value of $70. She was 62 years old at the time of the alleged offending and had committed similar offences in the past, but her most recent offence was over 10 years old. She was cooperative with the investigating police officers and made full admissions.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on a charge of Theft.

It was clear that our client’s offending occurred in the context of significant depression, brought on by chronic pain resulting from a workplace accident some 20 years ago. The accident had left her with a permanent injury to her back and knee, for which there had been ongoing complications. Her depression had resulted from this chronic pain.

A useful report was obtained from her treating psychiatrist which set out succinctly the extent of our client’s physical injuries, and the onset of depression as a result of the chronic pain. Submissions were made as to the low monetary level of offending, the client’s remorse, and the context in which the offending occurred (signicant physical and depressive illnesses).

What was the result?
The magistrate accepted that our client’s continued rehabilitation was the most appropriate sentencing purpose in all the circumstances. Our client was accordingly very relieved to receive an outcome that avoided a criminal conviction. She was sentenced to an Adjourned Undertaking for shoptheft, the conditions of which include that she be of good behavour for 6 months and that she continue to receive treatment from her psychiatrist.

Elements of Theft:
  • The accused appropriated property belonging to another;
  • The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
  • The accused acted dishonestly.
Related case studies
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 24/09/2019