Man faces Bay court for crimes committed 11 years ago

CRIMINAL charges caught up with a man who used stolen computer equipment and a car to fund a drug addiction - 11 years ago. Chad Francis McDonald broke into the businesses on the Gold Coast in 2003.

McDonald, 47, pleaded guilty in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday to four charges of entering a premises.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris told the court McDonald forced entry to a business in Nerang and stole a pair of bolt cutters.

Snr Const Grigoris said McDonald used the cutters to break into neighbouring businesses where he then stole almost $15,000 in computer equipment and a Toyota Hilux.

At another business McDonald cut iron bars on a security door to enter the building and rummaged through office draws and cupboards.

He also cut a padlock and smashed a front glass door to enter another building.

A blood smear left on a step ladder inside one of the businesses was linked to McDonald in 2008.

A warrant was issued and he was found by police sleeping in his car in Tinana last month.

Defence lawyer John Milburn said his client was a long-haul truck driver in 2003 and had become dependant on stimulants to drive after he became tired.

But Mr Milburn acknowledged the stimulants "may have affected his driving".

The defence also said McDonald abused substances and eventually used "illegal activity to fund it".

However McDonald undertook voluntary drug rehabilitation to combat the issue.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge indicated he was considering a prison sentence - however the rehabilitation favoured McDonald.

"That to be quite honest, is your saving grace," he said.

Mr Guttridge sentenced McDonald to 18 months imprisonment suspended for three years.



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