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'Get your dirty, grubby fingers off other people's property'

Scott Andrew Attenborough, 34, has been jailed.
Scott Andrew Attenborough, 34, has been jailed. Facebook

A NEBO plant operator stole a camper trailer worth more than $50,000 from his rural neighbours, rebirthed it and used it to take his family on camping trips.

A quad bike and a dinghy, boat trailer and motor were also stolen.

But the thefts, some of which occurred in 2012, came back to bite Scott Andrew Attenborough.

A co-accused friend was allegedly busted by police trying to sell the stolen quad, and Attenborough handed himself in.

Subsequently, nine charges were laid, Attenborough's shocked partner walked out with their kids and he was sacked from his job as a plant operator.

The 34-year-old had also been ostracised from the Nebo community as rumours of his crimes travelled, a court was told.

Attenborough faced Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to nine charges.

They included two counts of unlawful use of vehicle, one count of entering premises with intent, stealing, stealing property worth more than $5000, possessing tainted property, possessing a small amount of the drug ice, possessing cannabis and possessing drug utensils or pipes.

The quad bike was stolen in June this year, while the camper trailer, boat trailer, motor and dinghy were stolen in January, 2012.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer summed up the facts of the case, including submissions by prosecutor Sheena Hayes and defence solicitor Steven Hayles, of Macrossan and Amiet Solicitors.

Mr Dwyer said the quad bike had been stolen from a garage on a rural property after Attenborough had found the keys "in a cup in the fridge".

Attenborough hid the vehicle in a creek for several days, taking it to an isolated property near Townsville when its owners reported the theft.

"You hid the vehicle there with the intention of leaving it there until police attention settled down," Mr Dwyer said.

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" ... you had the intention of keeping the vehicle to yourself and using it when you went pigging.

"You decided to return the vehicle after (co-accused) was arrested and the whole of Nebo found out about your friend."

In recent times, police tracked down the stolen camper trailer and dinghy to a Nebo property.

Police found they "had been rebirthed and the registration details for the camper trailer were your (Attenborough's) details".

"VIN numbers and other identifying features of the camper trailer and the dinghy had been removed and replaced with new registration details, as well as a new VIN number," Mr Dwyer said.

"The victim was devastated as the (camper) trailer was only 18 months old.

"You told the police you had stolen the camper trailer for you and your family's enjoyment."

The boat trailer and motor were not recovered.

Other charges, such as ice and cannabis possession, resulted from a police search of Attenborough's Nebo property.

Mr Dwyer said Attenborough had limited criminal history, was born in Mackay and grew up in Nebo, where his extended family was situated.

His stealing was described by Mr Hayles as opportunistic and influenced by drug addiction.

The court was also told Attenborough made admissions to police, had family support and would make repayments.

Mr Dwyer had a simple message for Attenborough: "Get your dirty, grubby fingers off other people's property".

He sentenced Attenborough to four months jail, and he'll have to serve a year's probation (with drug testing) on release.

Restitution of nearly $4600 was ordered by Mr Dwyer and convictions were recorded.

Topics:  burglary mackay court mackay crime mackay magistrates court nebo rebirthing scott andrew attenborough


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