Next knicker nicking will land him in nick

A TOOWOOMBA underwear thief was caught wearing one of the 81 pairs of pants he had stolen when he was arrested in May, a court was told yesterday.

Stewart Shane Kellett, 42, of Bell, pleaded guilty at Toowoomba Magistrates Court to stealing 81 pieces of women's underwear in April and May of this year.

Kellett, who served jail time for similar offences at Dalby between 1998 and 2003, said through his solicitor that his actions were “a compulsive fetish act” and that he suffered from a compulsion to commit them.

Prosecutor Tony Costa said Kellett was stopped by a patrol police on North Street on May 5.

The initial discovery of one gram of cannabis and drug utensils under his vehicle's passenger seat would shortly become the least of the 42-year-old man's concerns.

Sergeant Costa said police confiscated a sports bag that contained 80 bras and pairs of briefs.

It was later revealed to police by Kellett that he was wearing piece 81, a bright pink pair of knickers.

Clothes lines at homes in Harlaxton, Mount Lofty and Toowoomba were all targeted, with Kellett jumping fences to snatch the pieces of clothing.

“When the defendant was located in North Street, he said he had stolen them from clothes lines from around Toowoomba and that if he was taken for a drive he could identify the residences,” Sgt Costa said.

Kellett's solicitor Simon Trewavas said his client had breached a Dalby court-ordered intensive correction order in the community for like offences in 2004 which saw him serve one month of a four-month prison sentence.

Mr Trewavas said despite completing four months of the order, Kellett had not received any counselling for his condition.

“While in custody, he revealed himself to be wearing a pink pair of underwear (which) shows the unusual situation of my client,” he said.

“He was stealing property of very low value, very personal, but very low value which I simply don't understand myself.”

Mr Trewavas suggested a prison sentence would not allow Kellett to get treatment for his condition.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark described the offences as “somewhat unusual to say the least”.

He sentenced Kellett to three months' imprisonment wholly suspended for two years on five counts of stealing, which included a wallet he had found but not attempted to return, and four counts of trespass.

He would be subject to any medical or psychological examinations or counselling sessions imposed by Corrective Services; Kellett was fined $600 for the drug matter and put on probation for two years.

“Be under no doubt: if you breach these conditions, you will be going to jail,” Mr Stark added.

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