Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street.

Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong GLA281013CORT

Man helps girlfriend break into, steal from family business

A GLADSTONE man who helped his girlfriend break into her parent's business and steal cash was made eligible to apply for parole on Friday after spending a year in custody.

Christopher Edward Owen Hill pleaded guilty via video in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday to several charges including two counts of enter premises by break and commit indictable offence, trespass, wilful damage, unlawful possession of suspected stolen property and a breach of bail.

The court was told on August 14 2019 Hill and his co-accused girlfriend broke into Mild to Wild Motorcycles at Tannum Sands and stole cash from the register.

In a plot twist told to the court, Hill's co-accused girlfriend was the daughter of the couple that owned the business.

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said the offending occurred under "usual circumstances" when the pair arrived to visit family but found themselves in "dire straits".

Ms Ditchfield said it was the woman who was to blame for the break-in and theft and her client Hill, was just along for the ride.

Ms Ditchfield said the woman served time behind bars for the offending but had since been released and has "disappeared".

But Hill and his girlfriend were involved in another Gladstone business theft at the Caltex service station on Toolooa St.

The pair had entered to buy items from the business however Hill found himself in the staff office and stole a pencil case which had a mobile phone and other items inside.

Ms Ditchfield said Hill believed the pencil case was his daughter's hence why he took it however Magistrate Dennis Kinsella said it was a far-fetched claim.

The court was told when police caught up with Hill, he had hidden the mobile phone "between his buttocks".

Although Hill had been in custody since August, 2018 for the offences, Mr Kinsella told the court could only take into account 68 days behind bars given Hill had been on parole at the time.

Hill was sentenced to 12 months jail with 68 days served under the sentence and parole eligibility from Friday.



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