Dad who stole grog to sell for drugs jailed
A MAN who left New South Wales to start a new life in Bundaberg and escape his heroin addiction has been sentenced to 15 months prison after he was found guilty to a spate of stealing and driving unlicensed offences.
Nathan Dennis Walter Beer, 42, appeared in custody and shook his head as Magistrate Terry Duroux told him he wouldn't legally be behind the wheel for a whopping 12 years in Queensland - and even longer in New South Wales.
Beer pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to 17 charges ranging from fraud, stealing, unauthorised dealing with shop goods, repeat driving without a licence and driving without a licence when disqualified by a court order.
The court was told of Beer's extensive stealing spree, including stealing meat from Foodworks and three spanner sets from Autobarn.
He would then sell his stolen stash to fund his drug addiction as well as buy food.
Beer also stole alcohol from Liquorland Hinkler Central and Dan Murphy's more than once, as well as First Choice Liquor, and on sold that as well.
"Essentially, he's walked into stores, helped himself to grog and walked out," Mr Duroux said of Beer's modus operandi.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said Beer had placed himself in an "unfortunate situation" due to his "extensive New South Wales history".
"Personal deterrence is important for Mr Beer and the community," Sen Const Bland said.
"Having a licence is a privilege and not something everyone gets ... I'm not sure what he needs to get to stop driving on the roads."
Defence lawyer Ryan Dwyer said his client had tried to make a "fresh start" in Bundaberg after leaving NSW to get away from a heroin addiction but, after family troubles arose in Bundaberg, he ended up falling into a morphine addiction.
"There has been a break in offending from 2015 to now because of a break in drug use ... he's had a heroin addiction since he was 21," Mr Dwyer said.
In sentencing, Mr Duroux acknowledged Beer was "no stranger to the courts in relation to disqualified driving", which he said showed "contempt" for court-imposed orders.
"Your history is consistent for someone with a serious drug addiction."
Beer was ordered to pay a total of $548.38 restitution and was sentenced to 15 months behind bars.
He will be eligible for parole on July 3.