A man faced Bowen Magistrates Court on stealing and failure to appear in court charges.
A man faced Bowen Magistrates Court on stealing and failure to appear in court charges. Monique Preston

Man says he 'found' stolen goods under house

A MAN who says he took a ride-on mower and a wheelbarrow from underneath the house he was staying at, has been ordered to do 80 hours community service.

Stephen Ries Ziukovic, 29, of Collinsville, pleaded guilty in Bowen Magistrates Court to one count each of stealing and failing to appear in court.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors told the court the ride-on mower and wheelbarrow were taken from a Collinsville home between June 10 and June 20.

A month later, on July 20, the owner later saw the two pieces of equipment at the back of another Collinsville home, which was being rented by someone who was in prison, Sgt Myors said.

She told the court Ziukovic was "squatting” at the property in a caravan at the time.

The court heard, when questioned by police, Ziukovic told them he found the items under the house where he was staying and thought it would be okay to take them.

Sgt Myors said Ziukovic also did not turn up to his court appearance on September 3.

When he handed himself in to police he told them he had emailed the court to tell them he could not come as he could not get a lift from Collinsville to Bowen, but said he didn't add the '.com' to the email address.

Representing Ziukovic, lawyer Cleo Rewald said her client had been living at the address with the partner of the man who was in prison.

Mrs Rewald said the woman was being evicted from the property and told Ziukovic to "help yourself to what's downstairs” as it was "going to the tip”.

This is where he found the lawnmower and wheelbarrow.

Magistrate James Morton sentenced Ziukovic to 80 hours community service to be done within six months.