An apprentice mechanic who picked up $200 from the floor of the Burswood Casino in Perth, has been found guilty of stealing.
Adrian Lamonica-Miraglio, 22, of Lockridge, fought a charge of one count of stealing…but was today convicted by Magistrate Wayne Tarr, fined $500 and given a spent conviction order.
It was alleged that at about 8.30pm on March 27 the apprentice refrigeration mechanic was having drinks with friends at one of the casino’s bars when he noticed the cash and picked it up and put it in his pocket.
He said he made no attempt to spend the money and handed it over when he was approached by casino security staff.
Police later arrived after he was questioned in a holding cell at the casino for three hours and charged.
Lamonica-Miraglio has since been given a life ban from Burswood Casino.
During a one-day trial in the Perth Magistrate’s Court Garret Thiele, a 26-year-old electrician, said he had lost $200 from his pocket on the night in question.
Mr Thiele said he went to the casino about 7pm to have dinner and he then withdrew $300 from a nearby ATM.
He told the court he bought drinks from the Mesh Bar, went to the two-up table and realised he had only the change from the drinks he had bought in his pocket.
He reported his loss to security staff who later gave him back two $100 bills.
Upon questioning by Mr Lamonica-Miraglio’s lawyer John Hammond, Mr Thiele conceded he did not know exactly where he had lost his money, or if the two one hundred dollar bills given back to him were indeed his.
Mr Lamonica-Miraglio told the court he was staying at the Holiday Inn Hotel with his girlfriend on the night in question.
He admitted he made no attempt to find the owner of the money and that he also made no attempt to hand it to security staff at the casino, until he was questioned by them.
Mr Lamonica-Miraglio said he did not know who the owner of the money was and he did not see it fall out of anybody’s pockets.
“I noticed there was a note on the floor…I put my foot on it and dragged it,” Mr Lamonica-Miraglio told the court today.
“Once I picked it up there were not that many people around.
“I hadn’t decided to do anything with it.”
Mr Hammond told the court it would be “preposterous” to start questioning people inside a casino if money dropped on the floor was theirs.
“I’d imagine there would be a flurry of hands with people saying “It’s mine, it’s mine,” Mr Hammond said.
“The facts are he believed the money had been abandoned.”
But Magistrate Tarr said Mr Lamonica-Miraglio took “no steps” to find the owner of the money.
“The accused knew it (the money) was not his,” Magistrate Tarr said.
“He made a deliberate attempt to conceal it from the victim.”
Outside court Mr Hammond said the way in which his client was treated by police and security on the night was “oppressive.”
“He was held in a cell for nearly three hours…it was overkill,” Mr Hammond said.
Mr Lamonica-Miraglio was also ordered to pay more than $300 in court costs.
by Mike Hansom