Serial thief hits bottle shops to feed ice addiction
AN IPSWICH man with a history of stealing alcohol has appeared in court on a string of news charges, with his lawyer revealing he is battling drug addiction.
Jai Russell Elliott, 29, from Goodna, pleaded guilty to 25 charges including seven counts of stealing; three counts of stealing with a previous conviction; three counts of being in possession of tainted property; four counts of being in possession of drug utensils; possessing property suspected of being used in a drug offence; possession of a knife; obstructing police; wilful damage to a police cell, and failing to appear at court.
Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard said one offence alone involved the theft of nine one-litre bottles of Jack Daniels from a BWS store in Goodna on August 28 last year.
The alcohol had a value of $629.99.
Another crime involved Elliott walking into a Total Tools store at Richlands in October where he was observed to hide a $345 wrench down the front of his pants.
When Elliott was verbally challenged by store staff he walked down another aisle and dropped the wrench on the floor.
Elliott then headbutted an attendant in the face, causing the victim's head to snap backwards.
The court heard another theft involved Elliott walking out of a Dan Murphy's liquor store with bottles of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky worth $464.97.
Elliott was also caught stealing a range of smaller items including lollies, glue and a baseball bat.
Police came across Elliott in September when he was spotted at Redbank Plains trying to hide behind a telephone box.
The total value of his thefts in the charges before the court was $1388.
"He has a very significant criminal history for stealing," Mr Ballard said.
"It is mostly alcohol. It's not food to eat and certainly not a necessity."
Police sought a jail term of six to nine months, taking into account his existing six-month jail penalty imposed on November 4.
Defence lawyer Jacilynn Young said Elliott developed an addiction to speed, using it daily before progressing to ice.
"He instructs that his offending was all related to his drug use. He steals the alcohol to exchange it for drugs," Ms Young said.
She sought his immediate release to parole.
Magistrate Dennis Kinsella said the offences were committed between July and October 2020.
Elliott received a seven-month jail order, back dated to January 4, with immediate release on parole.
He was not ordered to pay compensation to his victims.