Bundaberg Court House.
Bundaberg Court House. Mike Knott BUN020419COU4

Petrol theft: Dad sees jail as his home, drugs as lifestyle

A YOUNG dad who was on parole for stealing offences has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for petrol theft.

Jamie Cameron Gear, 24, appeared via video link into Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to charges of stealing after a previous conviction, possessing drugs, possession of a knife in a public place and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

On June 28, Gear was caught with a knife on Burrum and Electra Sts.

Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer told the court that Gear had the knife to "protect himself” as he'd felt "institutionalised” after his many stints in prison.

In July, Gear had been a driver and passenger of a car, a 2007 Mazda, without the permission of the owner.

The car was later found burnt out, however Gear was not charged for that offence and his defence lawyer cited there was nothing to connect his client to the arson of the car.

Gear committed the four petrol drive-offs from petrol stations around Bundaberg and Bargara.

Gear had also been caught with morphine on July 9, and had been in custody since.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Macushla Pattinson said Gear had an extensive criminal history with dishonesty and drug offences.

Sen Const Pattinson said while Gear's most recent steals involved petrol and not alcohol or clothing like in his previous offences, he'd continued to steal regardless of the consequences.

"He has been afforded every opportunity to stay in the community but has failed to take advantage of this,” Sen Const Pattinson said.

Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said Gear had an issue with drugs, and had started taking ice and speed as a young teenager.

"He said there was no real reason for the offences,” Mr Dwyer said.

He said Gear saw prison as a home and drugs as a "lifestyle”.

"Despite being in and out of jail for six to seven years, he doesn't like it, but unfortunately his life keeps leading him back there.”

Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said there had to be a "sting in the tail” for Gear's repeated offending.

Gear was ordered to serve nine months imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of October 8.

He must pay more than $258 restitution.

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