Court hears man bit Aldi employee, claimed he had AIDS

A BALLARAT man claimed he had AIDS when he bit a supermarket employee after unsuccessfully trying to steal alcohol, a court heard yesterday. 

Matthew Beacham, 37, left an Aldi employee with an anxious three-month wait last year after the victim sought medical tests, believing they may have been infected with the highly contagious disease. 

Beacham pleaded guilty to a string of charges in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, including unlawful assault, burglary, two counts of theft, shop-theft and dealing in property suspected of being the proceeds of crime. 

Detailing the offending to the court, police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Graham said Beacham had been trying to steal several bottles of alcohol from the Aldi supermarket in Creswick Road about 2.30pm on February 6 last year when he eventually ran out with a slab of vodka. 

The court heard an employee chased after Beacham and held him until police arrived. 

Beacham then bit the employee, “stating he has got AIDS,” Sergeant Graham said. 

The victim attended hospital for blood tests and had to wait three months for the results, which were negative. 

A lawyer for Beacham told the court her client had a 20-year history of drug abuse and at the time of the offending had relapsed into “full drug use”.

The lawyer said Beacham, a qualified baker, had been working hard in recent months to get his life back on track, adding Beacham was now clean from drugs and had the opportunity to begin a full-time job. 

Magistrate Peter Mithen said he was impressed by the effort Beacham had made, of his own accord, to deal with his drug problems and rehabilitate himself. 

“You’ve come along way,” Mr Mithen told Beacham. 

Beacham was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order and will have to complete 50 hours of community work.