Meat spoiled in rotten robbery at butcher shop

A FORMER butcher's apprentice has robbed the shop he worked for, leaving nothing but rotten meat in his wake.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Henry Tuilau pleaded guilty to one count of entering a premise to commit an indictable offence.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kerry Allison said Tuilau used a key he still had to gain access to the Clancy James butcher in Yeronga.

Before the 21-year-old entered the shop, he cut the power by switching the circuit breakers off.

Once inside, Tuilau stole $1550 in cash which had been located in the back office.

Sgt Allison said the incident took place on January 4 at 8.25pm and was recorded on CCTV cameras.

When staff at the shop arrived the next morning, not only was the money missing but $990 worth of meat had gone bad due the power being turned off.

Tuilau had been an employee at Clancy James until December 20 when he failed to return after a meal break. He turned himself in to Ipswich police and confessed to the crime on January 12.

The apprentice butcher said he had been owed a small amount of holiday pay from the Clancy James shop and used the stolen money to buy drugs.

He said he was now trying to turn his life around and had been in drug detox and would start a rehabilitation program in February.

Tuilau was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to pay back the $1550 of stolen cash as well as $990 worth of compensation for the spoiled meat.