Crim sent down again after just four weeks of freedom

A MAGISTRATE has been left stunned by 20-year-old convicted car thief Alex Gatt's "shocking" history of driving offences.

The North Ipswich ice addict, who has never held a driver's licence, had been out of jail only a month when he was arrested and sent back for new offences.

Alex Gatt pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the Ipswich Magistrates Court, including burglary; receiving suspected stolen property; two counts of unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle; three counts of stealing fuel; possession of dangerous drugs; obstructing police and receiving tainted property.

Some offences took place at Brassall on April 1, Redbank Plains and Camira in March.

The unlawful use of a car offences took place on the Warrego Highway at Blacksoil and Brendale.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Gatt served all of an 18-month sentence and was released but then taken back into custody in just four weeks.

Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said Gatt was sentenced by Ipswich Magistrates Court in August 2016 to 18 months' jail for the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; unlawful use of a motor vehicle and failing to stop for police.

He said burglary charges involved the homes of elderly people where jewellery, jewellery boxes, a hearing aid remote control, $200 cash, six watches and a handbag were stolen.

Police sought a sentence of 12 to 16 months' jail, with Gatt having already spent 180 days in custody.

Restitution was sought for two petrol drive-offs, worth $49.76 and $40.24.

Defence lawyer Yassar Khan said a 12-month jail term was appropriate.

"Most of his criminal offences are a consequence of his addiction to methylamphetamine," he said.

"He has been drug-free six months while held in custody.

"He began using illicit drugs at 14 but indicates he will stay drug-free on his release.

"He will be drug tested on parole and he hopes this will be sufficient enough to turn the corner."

Ms Sturgess said Gatt did the first burglary just days after being released from jail.

"It is a very substantial history for a young man," she said.

She said his fingerprints had been found inside the home of an elderly couple.

Ms Sturgess sentenced Gatt to 18 months' jail and to lesser jail terms.

With times served he was given immediate parole release.



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