'Chronic' offender's luck runs out in court

A "CHRONIC" offender guilty of driving three stolen vehicles will spend the rest of the year behind bars.

Dean Michael Jeffery Smith, 23, was handed a suspended sentence for property and dishonesty type offending in August last year but in June this year committed a further 14 similar offences.

He pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court this morning to five counts of receiving tainted property, three each of stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of fraud and one count of driving unlicensed between June 3 and 11 throughout the Ipswich region.

The court heard the three vehicles, for which Smith used to steal petrol from three different petrol stations, were stolen during burglaries of three separate homes.

Defence lawyer Amy Little said it was "unfortunate" her client was before the court with a lengthy criminal history.

"He always had a bad group of friends so it was easy for him to fall back into old ways," Ms Little said.

While Smith was not charged for stealing the cars or breaking into the homes, Magistrate Virgina Sturgess said it was a "moot" point if the defendant was the thief, burglar or receiver of the property.

"Three people's houses were broken into and property stolen was found in your possession, three separate vehicles and three separate houses" she said.

"Clearly you were very close to the thieves.

"Your luck starts to run out."

Smith was sentenced to a head sentence of 18 months imprisonment with 73 days pre-sentence custody declared.

Parole was set for January next year.


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