A FATHER of three young children "fell back into old habits" when his mother died, a Rockhampton court heard yesterday.
Trevor Bettiens, 36, pleaded guilty to seven charges of burglary and one charge of receiving stolen goods in the Rockhampton District Court.
Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips said between August 1 and mid-November last year Bettiens broke into several dwellings.
Mr Phillips said he took items from "as little as a pair of shoes to things as substantial as electrical goods and jewellery".
Judge Pat Shanahan said the value of property stolen would be in excess of $35,000.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said Bettiens had a "significant and concerning history of using illicit drugs", starting with marijuana in his early teens. The court heard Bettiens had previously been imprisoned three times for similar offences. Mr Ahlstrand said Bettiens described his mother as the "best someone could possibly have" and struggled with the loss of her support. Mr Ahlstrand passed on an apology to the victims from Bettiens.
The court heard Bettiens vowed to "turn his life around" when released from prison, but Judge Shanahan said this was what he had told the court last time he was sentenced.
Judge Shanahan said if he continued to take drugs and commit offences he would end up in jail for "longer and longer". Bettiens was sentenced to three and a half years in jail, and is eligible for parole on January 10 next year.
Name: Trevor Bettiens
Charge: Seven counts of burglary and stealing, one of receiving
Punishment: Three and a half years