A man accused of stealing a winning $10,000 TAB ticket from a former NRL star is asking the court to throw out the charge, claiming it is an “abuse” of the legal process.
Jake Linardos did not appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday where his lawyer is attempting to have a charge of larceny thrown out.
The 25-year-old was acquitted of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception by a jury last year, with the Director of Public Prosecutions deciding to prosecute a fresh charge of larceny.
Mr Linardos’ lawyer Thomas Wood on Tuesday told the court he is making an application to permanently stay the charge.
“Maintaining the backup charge after the acquittal is an abuse of process and Your Honour should stay the proceedings,” he told the court.
Jake Linardos allegedly stole a $9787 betting slip belonging to NRL player Beau Champion. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ben Symons
Mr Thomas told the court Mr Linardos allegedly found a betting slip on the ground in the gaming area of the Doncaster Hotel in Kensington on August 10, 2020.
He checked the value of the ticket and discovered it had an eye-popping $9787 payout.
“The Crown case at trial is the ticket belonged to a person by the name of Beau Champion,” Mr Thomas said.
“At the time it was on the floor, it was no longer with him, Mr Linardos bent over and picked it up.”
The Crown case at trial was that Mr Linardos was “looking around the room” before picking the ticket up off the floor, the court was told.
The court heard the Crown claimed he was looking around because he knew the voucher was not his.
The prosecution alleges it wasn’t a lucky find on the pub floor, but Mr Linardos instead stole the ticket from its rightful owner, former NRL great Beau Champion.
When the former South Sydney Rabbitohs player realised his winning ticket was missing, he contacted police.
Officers used CCTV footage from the Doncaster Hotel and the QR code from the Covid check-in to track Mr Linardos down.
Beau Champion is a former NRL star who played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Mr Thomas told the court the focus of the trial was on the elements of dishonesty and deception, which he was found not guilty of.
“The larceny charge doesn’t require the crown to establish any act of deception but does require the Crown to establish dishonesty,” he said.
“The maintenance of proceedings which call into question or overturn an acquittal … will be an abuse of process.”
The court was told Mr Linardos signed himself into the Doncaster Hotel by using the contact-tracing system and his ID, therefore was not being dishonest.
Mr Linardos has been fighting the allegations for over two years. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ben Symons
“Dishonesty was clearly an issue, it was an essential element of the offence,” Mr Thomas said.
“That’s what really gives rise to the problem in maintaining the backup charge.”
Solicitor for the DPP, Rebecca-Jane Thoms-Packer, told the court the Crown would be pursuing a charge of larceny in finding.
Ms Thoms-Packer told the court the Crown alleges Mr Linardos “picked up the ticket that was not his and was not abandoned”.
“It was property belonging to somebody,” she said.
“When he took the ticket it was without consent of the owner with the property … it was taken with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it.”
The matter will return to court in June, where the Crown will make submissions on why the charge should proceed.