Teenager jailed for stealing mobile phones from sleeping backpackers
A TEEENAGER has pleaded guilty to stealing eight mobile phones from guests at the Grand Hotel Backpackers, including one from under a woman's pillow as she slept.
Tyrone Stewart Snell, 19, pleaded guilty to seven counts of enter dwelling and commit indictable offence and one count of enter premise with intent after he, along with two juveniles, entered the accommodation area of the hotel about 3am on November 15 last year.
Once inside, Snell stole the eight mobile phones belonging to seven backpackers, a wallet, as well as bags containing food, clothing and shoes.
A witness spotted Snell inside the backpackers and he, and his two co-accused, ran away when challenged.
Police were called and found three backpacks in the car park containing a number of items, including bottles which were able to be fingerprinted.
CCTV footage also captured Snell wearing a large red and black jacket, despite the warm weather, which police prosecutor Senior Constable Andrew Blunt said appeared to be an attempt by Snell to disguise his appearance.
When Snell was initially questioned by police he denied any involvement, but later admitted he had stolen the phones and attempted to sell them, but had not been able to do so.
In sentencing Snell, Magistrate Belinda Merrin told Snell he had taken items of great value to his victims and he had stolen their ability to communicate with family and friends in other countries.
Snell, who had already served 56 days in presentence custody, was sentencing to 12 months jail with a parole release date of March 3 this year.