Jail the 'no option' penalty for big-ticket $35k burglary
A YOUNG but big-ticket burglar apologised to sobbing loved ones as he was led to jail from Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.
Casey Wade Lawrence, 25, pleaded guilty to stealing or damaging property worth more than $35,000 in an Amamoor Creek farm burglary on May 3.
Police told the court Lawrence, of Mothar Mountain, breached a suspended jail sentence when he broke into farm buildings and stole an all terrain vehicle, power and hand tools.
The victim had left the property secured that day, but at 4pm, another witness saw the ATV and a white station wagon leaving with stolen goods.
Imbil police went to the address of the car's owner, Lawrence's father-in-law, who denied knowledge of stolen property. Detectives then raided Lawrence's address and found marijuana, ammunition and more stolen equipment, which Lawrence said had been dropped off by his father-in-law.
Magistrate John Parker condemned Lawrence's crime as a "planned and deliberate act," made worse by Lawrence's attempt to blame it on someone else.
"That's pretty shabby. There's a lot you should be ashamed about," he said.
"You are going to do some prison time," Mr Parker told Lawrence. "I think people would be outraged if you didn't. I can see the headline, 'Walks free."
He sentenced Lawrence to 18 months jail, suspended after five months for two years, with restitution of $35,218.77.