Man jailed and fined $24,700

A GLADSTONE man will face 12 months behind bars and a fine of $24,700 after appearing in Gladstone's Magistrate Court yesterday.

Eli John Sell appeared before Magistrate Russell Warfield and pleaded guilty to six charges, including two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle and another charge of entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence.

Sell pleaded guilty to stealing a blue Nissan Navara on March 22, 2011, accompanied by a co-offender, after finding the ute parked on the road with the keys still in the ignition.

Sell and his friend then drove the vehicle to a Gladstone home, which they then proceeded to enter without permission of the occupants. From the dwelling, Sell and his friend stole a laptop, a computer hard drive, a DVD player and a CD radio.

Sell and his friend then returned to the vehicle.

Later, police received reports regarding a blue Nissan Navara driven erratically around Gladstone.

The complaints varied from reports of the vehicle driven erratically in a supermarket car park to doing continuous laps around a roundabout, “almost on two wheels”.

Police prosecutor Sergeant O'Dowd said police were later able to locate the vehicle but, upon seeing the police uniforms, Sell and his friend drove off.

This led to the police pursuing the vehicle. In this pursuit, Sergeant O'Dowd said the vehicle accelerated well over the speed limit, crossed to the other side of the road, skidded out of control and crashed into a tree.

Police were then able to approach the vehicle where Sell did not resist arrest.

Sell gave a breathalyser reading of .183 and the stolen vehicle was written off.

Mr Warfield sentenced Sell to 12 months in jail and to the punitive sum of $24,700, according to a RACQ quote of how much the vehicle would have been worth before Sell wrote it off.

“In a perfect world, people should be able to leave their houses and cars unlocked without people like you coming and robbing them,” Mr Warfield said.

“You stole a tradesman's ute, that he uses for work, then put your life at serious risk, as well as your passengers and the general public.”

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