A NSW parolee accused of robbing a man, who had collapsed on the ground after suffering a stroke, has had the theft charge against him dropped in court.
Prosecutor Sergeant Jeremy Southam told Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday the stroke victim's family was still grieving following the 58-year-old's death in March and did not want to give evidence at the scheduled hearing into the charges against Michael Moroney-Paine.
As a result of the charge being dropped, Moroney-Paine - who appeared via audio-visual link from jail - agreed to plead guilty to resisting arrest.
The 29-year-old was on parole for offences including dishonesty when he was out walking at Mount Hutton, a suburb near Lake Macquarie, on January 6 and came across the stroke victim lying beside his vehicle in a car park.
The man had fallen out of the driver's seat and remained on the ground with his arms moving and twitching behind his back.
Moroney-Paine claimed he noticed the man was bleeding and had been acting as a "good Samaritan" when he phoned triple-zero for help.
Defence lawyer James Wallace said Moroney-Paine - who has a tattoo above his left eye which reads "No Remorse" - denied stealing $90 in cash, two bank cards and a credit card from the victim's wallet.
Mr Wallace said the parolee stopped to help the stroke victim and only opened the stranger's car door to get details about his identity.
He said Moroney-Paine stayed with the man until paramedics arrived and did not take the missing cash or bank cards.
When confronted two days later by police over the theft claims, Moroney-Paine claimed his status as a parolee prompted him to panic.
"Believing he was going to go back to jail for a long time, he ran and resisted police," Mr Wallace said.
Magistrate Sharron Crews jailed Moroney-Paine for three months, dating back to January 9, for the resisting arrest charge.
She said his intensive corrections order expired next month and it would be up to the parole board to decide when he would be released.
Australian Associated Press