Thief blames his crimes on his lover’s breast cancer

A MAN charged with a string of offences relating to stolen vehicles, counterfeit money and house breaking has claimed his behaviour was triggered by his girlfriend getting breast cancer.

Ashley David Ford cut off his electronic GPS tracking device before committing the crimes, an Ipswich court heard.

Ford, 28, from Redbank Plains, appeared from jail via video-link before Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to 12 charges including two counts of unlawful use of a stolen car; possession of counterfeit money; possession of dangerous drugs; two counts of possession of dangerous drugs; enter premises and steal by break at Wacol on November 28; wilful damage to an electronic tracking device; not having the authority to possess explosives (ammunition); and possession of tainted property.

The crimes involved a Nissan Pathfinder stolen from Eight Mile Plains with Ford's fingerprints and DNA later found inside on a Bundaberg Rum bottle and a red Bull can. A 2012 KTM 500 motorbike had been stolen from Browns Plains.

Prosecutor Sergeant Chris O'Neill opposed a head sentence sought by defence lawyer Kelsea Read as being too lenient, saying "it does not adequately punish him" for the offending Ford committed when on parole for other crimes.

Police sought a 2 ½ year jail term to begin from the end of his existing sentence.

Ms Read, in a written submission, sought a sentence that was "not crushing", given Ford's existing jail sentence of 36 months. She wanted the term to run with his existing jail term.

Ms Read told the court Ford's partner had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sgt O'Neill said the breast cancer diagnosis could not be considered a valid reason for Ford's offending.

Ms Sturgess said the counterfeit money was also serious as it involved $1600 in fake notes.

The court heard his parole had been suspended in November when Ford was taken back into custody as a result of the new charges.

"What he did was to remove his GPS tracking device. He clearly decided he was not complying with his parole obligations and then went on a crime spree," Ms Sturgess said.

"His parole was already suspended as a result of his decision."

Ms Sturgess said Ford removed his tracking device 13 days after getting parole and had extensive serious criminal history that includes 11 previous convictions for unlawful use of stolen cars, burglary, armed robbery and dangerous driving.

She noted court documentation that he had a deprived personal background with drug dependency to methylamphetamine and cannabis.

She said Ford cut off the tracking bracelet in Darra at 9.40pm on November 16 and he was not located by police until December 21.

Ms Sturgess said he broke into a Wacol freight business and levered open a safe and stole $1400 cash, a fuel card, security camera, tools, and keys to six work trucks.

She said his finger print was found near the safe, and CCTV also depicted a male "with similar tattoos to you".

When police tried to arrest Ford at 3.30am he ran down the road pushing a stolen motorbike while trying to kickstart it.

He was chased on foot for 150m.

Ford was tasered and had 3.9 grams of ice, 4.9 grams of cannabis and $1600 in counterfeit $100 notes cash on him when arrested.

Ford was sentenced to a two year jail term that will be cumulative to the existing Supreme Court sentence imposed in November 2018. He will be eligible to begin making his parole application from August 21 this year.


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