Fuel thief finally runs out of luck
CHARLES Edward John Compton sold a ride-on mower online for $3400 but it never arrived by truck at the home of the interstate buyer.
Compton told the annoyed buyer the mower had been "repossessed” and he'd spent the money.
Then while driving between Logan, Gympie, Warwick, Maryborough, Bundaberg and Gold Coast - sometimes for court appearances - Compton did a series of fuel drive-offs, racking up hundreds of dollars in unpaid bills.
But luckless servo operators can breathe a few sighs of relief with Compton's highway roaming coming to an end after he went before Bundaberg Magistrates Court and lost his licence for three years.
Compton, 35, pleaded guilty to 22 offences that included fraud, a series of stealing offences including unlawful dealing with shop goods, two counts of drug driving ; doing wilful damage at Star Casino in Brisbane; two counts of driving unlicensed; drug offences; and three counts of breaching bail.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said the fuel drive-offs totalled around $700 and involved more than eight businesses, although he had tried in some cases to pay for fuel but his card failed.
Sgt Burgess said Compton swung on metal poles holding car park space sensor lights, resulting in the bars coming down, after he was ejected from the casino on May 7. He caused $544 damage.
In other incidents a small amount of marijuana was found in Compton's car at Warwick and he had meth in his system when driving at Maryborough.
When asked by Magistrate Belinda Merrin why he should not be jailed, his lawyer Lavonda Maloy said he had shown significant insight into his offending.
Mrs Maloy said Compton was a father of six who realised he had hit rock bottom and needed to change his way of life after leading an itinerant lifestyle.
He had stopped all contact with people who had been an adverse influence on him and was now drug substance free, she said.
He had engaged in a mental health plan and was seeking help for anxiety and other issues.
Ms Merrin said Compton had caused significant loss to businesses and had made no effort to repay them or the $3400 to the mower buyer.
Ms Merrin said his offences had been in defiance of court orders.
Compton was sentenced to six months jail for the fraud and to lesser jail terms for the other offences with an immediate release on parole.
He was resentenced over previous offences, will be supervised for 18 months under a probation order and must do various programs and counselling.
Compton was ordered to pay restitution to his victims through SPER.