Handbag thief ‘sick and tired of jail’

A WOMAN woke suddenly during the night to discover the contents of her handbag strewn across the floor and her purse gone.

In her confusion the 61-year-old woman saw a man fleeing her home after committing the New Year's Eve burglary.

The sneaky purse thief was Hud Sandy, who appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence on multiple charges.

Hud Roy Sandy, 43, from Inala, pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling to steal at Eastern Heights on December 31, 2019; trespass into a yard in Edgar St at Eastern Heights; and enter premises with intent at Raceview on October 24, 2019.

Prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro said Sandy had a 12-page criminal history featuring multiple charges for dishonesty, stealing and burglary.

Sgt Molinaro said one crime in 2018 involved property with a value of $60,000.

She said the New Year's Eve theft involved the woman waking to find her handbag upside down with its contents strewn next to her.

Police were quickly able to track down Sandy in a neighbour's yard where people were attending New Year's festivities.

One of the guests found Sandy inside his car, but the suspect fled.

A fingerprint left inside the car identified him.

Sgt Molinaro said police sought a three-year jail term for Sandy.

"He has an appalling history. Mr Sandy presents as a recidivist offender and three years would not be excessive," Sgt Molinaro said.

Defence barrister Terry Strong argued for a lesser penalty, saying Sandy had a lot going on in his life at the time including drug use and homelessness.

He said Sandy's uncle, who he relied on as a mentor, had died in December.

"He says he went completely downhill, his drug use increased in the context of his grieving," Mr Strong said.

Mr Strong outlined Sandy's troubled youth, saying he had sniffed paint and petrol and used heroin and ice.

The court heard Sandy was also set to receive a large payment, possibly $200,000, for institutional abuse he suffered.

Sandy had also written a letter to the court expressing a desire to change.

Mr Strong said his client was "sick and tired of being in jail".

Magistrate Kurt Fowler said the incident would have been "quite terrifying for that lady".

He sentenced Sandy to a 27-month jail term and took into account the 190 days already spent in custody.

He will be released on parole on September 8.