Repentant thief returns property ... minus expensive wine
A REPENTANT burglar had the next day returned all but some alcohol he'd stolen during a break-in of a house in Toowoomba, the city's Magistrates Court heard.
Driven by excess alcohol and drug abuse, 23-year-old Sam Victor Dowdle had first cut power to a house in Mackenzie St on the night of March 17 before smashing a window to gain access, the court heard.
However, on smashing the window, Dowdle had cut himself and left blood at the point of entry which was ultimately DNA linked back to him, police prosecutor Julie Wheaton told the court.
Stolen from the home was a $2500 watch, six cufflinks, a second less valuable watch, $1400 worth of 14 bottles of wine including two bottles of Moet and the keys to a Mazda utility parked in the carport.
The utility was found the next day parked in a prominent parking spot in Harristown with the keys in the ignition and the vehicle's warning lights flashing to attract attention, Senior Constable Wheaton said.
Also found in the car was the second watch while the $2500 watch, cufflinks and a note of apology were dropped back to the victim's home in a plastic bag the next day, the court heard.
Senior Constable Wheaton told the court at the time of the offending Dowdle was subject to a four-month wholly suspended jail term imposed by the same court for similar alcohol-fuelled offending last year.
The victim had received a call from his home's security firm on the afternoon of the next day advising him there had been a power outage at his home to which he had returned to find the results of the break-in, the court heard.
Dowdle pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence and to the unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Defence counsel Shane Hough (Munro Legal) told the court his client acknowledged he had long-standing drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues which he had since taken steps to address.
His client had completed an intense three-month rehabilitation course and was now on medication and taken positive steps to rebuild his life, and had taken up with a local church, he submitted.
After his client sobered up and realised what he had done he had been remorseful and took steps to return the property, Mr Hough said.
Magistrate Damian Carroll acknowledged the 23-year-old's voluntary steps of rehabilitation and took into account a medical report on him tended to the court.
"This offending was very serious," he noted.
Mr Carroll sentenced Dowdle to 12 months imprisonment to be served in the community by way of intensive correction order, extended the suspended suspended jail term by 12 months and ordered he make restitution of $3370. Dowdle was disqualified from driving for three months.