Ballarat man used child's stroller to hide stolen goods, court told

A BALLARAT man who used his child’s stroller to hide stolen goods while shoplifting was also caught driving an unregistered car despite never holding a licence, a court has heard. 

Ashley Sperling, 31, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a raft of charges, including two counts of shop theft, unlicensed driving, driving an unregistered car and failing to answer bail. 

The court heard Sperling, who had been banned from Big W for shoplifting, was spotted in the Curtis Street store on September 17 last year with his former partner and young child. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said Sperling was seen stealing numerous items and placing them in his child’s stroller. 

Items stolen included shoes and a jacket, the court heard. 

The court heard Sperling left the store without paying and was again seen stealing items from Woolworths supermarket in Peel Street shortly after. 

Senior Constable Prebble said Sperling was seen by police trying to steal four cans of premixed alcohol – again trying to put them into the stroller. 

The court heard Sperling was also caught driving an unregistered car on July 4 last year.

He has never held a licence. 

Sperling’s defence lawyer Shelly Buchecker said her client had a prior history consisting of theft and dishonesty matters, but it had been some time since he had offended. 

Ms Buchecker said her client had trouble remembering the offending due to the fact he had been using valium, mixed with alcohol, at the time. 

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson accepted Ms Buchecker’s submissions and fined Sperling $1000.