Drug addict's ute filled with diamonds and pearls

POLICE were stunned to find a veritable treasure trove of stolen gems and luxury goods - including diamond and pearl necklaces and Gucci and Burberry bags - when they pulled over a ute in Redbank Plains.

Five stolen laptops, gold chains and earrings also lay inside 36-year-old Christopher Richard Hill's ute.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard how police found the luxury items when they stopped Hill's vehicle in Redbank Plains on October 5, 2017.

Police prosecutor Snr Constable Carl Spargo said Hill had breached bail conditions two days before when he was spotted at a servo after midnight. Hill told officers he was on his way to a 3.30am job interview.

Hill was later involved in a dangerous driving incident last Christmas Eve when he drove a ute into the busy Redbank Plains shopping centre at 3.05pm and drove off at speed. Hill did a lap before re-entering an underground car park where he fled on foot from police officers.

Later on Christmas Eve, Hill burgled a home at Oxley and stole a laptop, wallet and Xbox. He took keys to a Toyota Hilux and a Mitsubishi Mirage and the vehicles were stolen.

Hills' criminal history included wilful damage, dangerous operation, assault, and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. He had served previous jail terms.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Hill had a car on finance and his bills had grown beyond his means.

"He couldn't afford to pay his debt and relapsed into using ice and heroin," Mr Fairclough said. "Very quickly things tumbled out of control."

Mr Fairclough said Hill intended to become involved in parenting his child on his release from jail.

Mr Fairclough said Hill's offences pointed to drug use and severe anxiety.

Hill, 36, pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including three counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle; possession of tainted property; fail to comply with a requirement to stop; possession of dangerous drugs; two counts of receiving tainted property; enter dwelling and commit an offence; enter premises and commit an offence; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; fail to stop for police; breach of bail, obstructing police; and failing to take reasonable precautions with a needle/syringe.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said they were serious offences and Hill had returned to old habits.

She sentenced him to 18 months' jail. Hill had already spent 72 days in custody.

Ms MacCallum ordered his release to parole on July 1.

He was disqualified from driving for two years and for 12 months to run concurrently.



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