Illawarra man jailed over theft of milk, chicken and chocolate from Woolworths

On the evening of August 13, Martin Wanat had a two-course meal consisting of chicken and chocolate, then settled down on some fresh pillows for a nap.

Unfortunately, he was at Woolworths at the time.

Wanat had just left the Shellharbour Hospital mental health ward when he walked into the Dapto store around 8.30pm and began perusing the aisles.

He picked up a bottle of milk a short time later, opened it and took a drink, before consuming an entire roast chicken as he wandered around the store.

He washed it down with a can of Mother energy drink then finished off his meal with a bar of Cadbury chocolate.

By this stage Wanat had attracted the attention of store staff, who in turn had contacted the mall’s security team.

They found Wanat lying on pillows in the manchester aisle, attempting to go to sleep.

He was collected by police, who, believing he was intoxicated, took him to Wollongong Hospital.

He was subsequently charged with larceny and released on police bail, but was arrested a week later after causing disruptions at a doctor’s surgery and government offices in separate incidents.

In both cases the 32-year-old swore at staff and abused them when he didn’t get his way, even threatening to stab a Service NSW employee.

Children witnessed both incidents, police said.

In Wollongong Local Court this week, Wanat’s lawyer said her client suffered from poor mental health and had “complex needs” that would make his time behind bars more onerous on him than most.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart accepted Wanat had a range of “problems” and said by all accounts he’d had a sad history, however said most of his victims had been people “just doing their job”.

“It’s disgraceful behaviour,” he said.

Wanat was sentenced to a minimum nine months jail.

With time served, Wanat will be released to parole in May next year.

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