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Man jailed for crime spree

A SERIAL offender with a drug habit was sentenced to four years prison in Gladstone District Court yesterday.

Keith Lawrence Priestley was charged with seven charges of break and enter with wilful damage, two counts of stealing and one count of contravene a direction.

Priestley entered guilty pleas to all charges through his barrister David Murray.

The break and enters occurred over a three-day period between November 24 and 27 last year and all were in commercial premises in the Gladstone CBD.

Priestley smashed in doors or windows to gain entry in each premise and stole items such as a camera and cash.

The contravene a direction charge came from his refusing to give his name to the arresting officers.

The 30-year-old had a lengthy criminal history and had appeared in court 30 times in the past.

The offences were committed with a co-offender.

The defendant was reluctant with police at first but eventually co-operated and took police on a drive and admitted to break and enters that the police had not even linked to him.

Priestley is currently serving a jail term for other offences which ends on February 1, 2011.

Defence Barrister David Murray said his client stole for money for drugs.

“He is another victim of the amphetamine tide,” he said.

Judge Koppenol told the defendant a significant sentence was required to deter him and others from committing similar offences.

“It is a sad situation when drugs are involved but prison is an appropriate sentence,” Judge Koppenol said.

“These offences happened only one month after you got out of jail.”

Judge Koppenol sentenced Priestley to four years prison for each of the seven break and enter charges to be served concurrently.

Priestley was also sentenced to two years prison for each of the two stealing charges also to be served concurrently.

A parole release date was set for January 16, 2012.

The sentence will begin after his current jail sentence ends.

A conviction was recorded but no further penalty was issued for the contravene a direction charge.

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