STOOLEN: A man stole money from a poker game in Bundaberg.
STOOLEN: A man stole money from a poker game in Bundaberg. Brenda Strong

Man took cash at poker game

CARDS were on the table for a fun night of poker at a Bundaberg hotel but the bets were off for Ashley Penstone who had his eyes on the money pot.

Penstone helped himself to some of the poker cash that was put in a case at the Melbourne Hotel while the venue was being cleaned after the event.

Penstone, 26, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to stealing money from the National Poker League (Wide Bay) on April 24; and failing to attend at the police station to give identification details.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said the victim was the National Poker League and Penstone stole $376 following a tournament at the hotel.

He said organisers had been cleaning up afterwards when a male walked into a room at the hotel and opened a crate and removed a pencil case, took money out and left.

Bundaberg police were called and officers viewed CCTV footage.

Sgt Burgess said Penstone, in a police interview on May 10, told officers he took the cash because he used to work for the company and alleged it owed him money.

Sgt Burgess said Penstone had previous offences in 2014 for fraud and stealing, and been sentenced then to a jail term with immediate release to parole.

"It was thousands of dollars. This offence could send him to prison," he said.

"I've no excuse. I used to work for them,” Penstone told Magistrate Belinda Merrin.

"I went to work in WA. I had outstanding wages still owed to me but did not hear back.

"I got fed up and took it into my own hands.”

Penstone said he now worked as a cattle musterer.

Ms Merrin sentenced Penstone to one month jail for stealing, immediately suspended for three months.

He was fined $150 for the second offence.