Thief's lawyer tells court copper heist was for drugs

TWO thieves used wheelie bins to cart a haul of more than $18,000 in stolen copper, a court heard this week.

One of the thieves claimed he only assisted in the offence in order to receive drugs.

The court heard Jesse Chubb, a father of three, was bored spending time at home after a serious knee injury.

Prosecutor Sergeant Bernard Elmore said it was a serious offence where Chubb and his co-offender broke into three areas of a business complex and took away copper and pipe fittings valued at $18,777.

Sgt Elmore said Chubb and his friend used a grinder to cut through a chain to enter a plumbing business.

He said the pair loaded wheelie bins with stolen copper and were later captured on CCTV loading it into the back of a white ute.

Jesse Charles Chubb, 28, from Gailes, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to two dozen offences, including three counts of stealing, two counts of trespass; three counts of entering premises by break and entering to steal on February 19; obstructing/assaulting police; wilful damage; two counts of driving when disqualified by court order; possession of a dangerous drug; possession of property used in a drug offence; possession of drug utensils; contravene police direction; evade a $70 fare, and breach of bail.

Sgt Elmore said Chubb took part in other stealing crimes with a total value of about $21,000.

He said the theft of copper pipe was extremely prevalent and businesses were forced to spend large amounts of money on repairs.

Police sought a jail term of between 18 months and two years jail, Sgt Elmore saying Chubb had spent 140 days held in custody and could be granted immediate parole.

Defence lawyer Michael Kelly said Chubb's offending was the result of drug addiction.

Mr Kelly said Chubb lost his job in 2017 after tearing a knee muscles. Depressed and anxious at being unable to work, Chubb fell into the use of ice.

Mr Kelly said trespass and stealing charges had been "a bizarre offence" in that he and another person went to a house and took household goods including a ride-on lawn mower.

Magistrate David Shepherd said Chubb twice drove when disqualified while on parole for a previous offence.

"The biggest motivation for you ought to be your children who no doubt want their father back," Mr Shepherd said.

"It won't be done until you do something about your problems. You've had court support and not taken it up."

Chubb was sentenced to 18 months jail and to lesser jail terms, and ordered to pay $10,042 restitution. He can apply for parole immediately.



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