An honest thief who broke into a Warrnambool charity left an apology note detailing what he had stolen.
The 38-year-old Warrnambool man pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday to theft offences.
The court heard he handed himself into police on Sunday about 6.15pm.
He said he broke into Warrnambool and District Food Share where he ate food donations collected by volunteers.
The man was arrested and during a record of interview, he said he was homeless, hungry and "didn't have a quiet place to chill out".
He told police he was there for about two hours and consumed a number of food items totalling $20.
The man left a note apologising to Food Share volunteers for his actions, and detailing what he had consumed.
The court heard the man did not cause any damage when breaking into the Harrington Road address.
Lawyer Kerry Schroeder told the court the man was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2010.
She said he had a degree in environmental science but his mental illness made it difficult for him to find employment.
She said the man was hungry, had no funds and was waiting for his pension.
"His intention was to wait until 8am (Monday) but being a Sunday, he hadn't eaten in a couple of days so he has broken in," Ms Schroeder said.
"He's eaten food, only enough to take away that hunger, and then he's left an apology letter, given details and what he's taken and handed himself into police.
"He takes full responsibility for his actions which did not occur in the context of someone trying to make any gain. It was literally someone was hungry and homeless."
The man told the court he had received a smaller Centrelink payment that fortnight because he had reported payment from a previous job trial.
But he said that payment was made in advance, meaning he was left with a government payment of just $300 for two weeks.
Magistrate Simon Guthrie said the case was an "unusual one for me".
"I've never had anyone leave a note behind," he said.
"I can accept you were hungry and remorse and that you were having some financial difficulties.
"You were honest and you are quite clearly intelligent."
Mr Guthrie said it was unfortunate there were not services available to help the man over the weekend.
"I really do hope you can sort out some help and some sort of stable accommodation," he said.
"Being homeless and living in a car will just keep causing major issues for you... It becomes opportunistic to steal food because you haven't fed yourself."
Mr Guthrie also noted the man's honesty to Centrelink.
"You volunteered the information (about additional payment) and this is also to be acknowledged," he said.
"You have been honest. You can clearly see right from wrong."
The man was convicted and jailed for one day.
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