Bay dad steals to fund prescription drug habit
A URANGAN father who stole to fund his fentanyl addiction has avoid serving prison time for a string of stealing offences.
Dylan Shane Vernon-Hall fronted Hervey Bay Magistrates Court in custody yesterday to plead guilty to nine charges including stealing, breach of bail conditions and failure to dispose of a needle.
The court heard the 23-year-old was captured on CCTV on five separate occasions stealing goods including a DVD box set, food and a spray gun by shoving them down his pants.
On June 15, Vernon-Hall assisted another offender in putting a chain around a vending machine and accelerating in a car in an attempt to break open the machine and steal the change at a Urangan car wash.
Police prosecutor senior constable Sonia Edwards said the attempts to steal were unsuccessful and the thieves only made off with about $4 in coins.
When questioned by police about failing to report twice as part of his bail condition, Vernon-Hall told police he was experiencing "personal issues" however could not provide a lawful reason.
"He does have some substantial history for dishonesty," Snr Const Edwards said.
"He is on probation at the moment for a matter from a higher court jurisdiction."
The court heard on another occasion, Vernon-Hall was found outside Urraween Australia Post shop with two capped, used syringes with liquid residue of fentanyl in his pocket.
Duty lawyer Harry Morris said his client did not remember most of the offending but accepted he had committed the crimes and was compliant with police.
"He is on a disability pension for major depression and anxiety," he said.
"The stealing was to fund his drug addiction.
"He is remorseful and embarrassed for the offending, he was completely at the whim of his addiction during this period and he is ashamed.
"In regard to his difficult circumstances recently that was his partner being in hospital in Brisbane and his child was experiencing breathing problems which has taken some toll on him.
"He instructs he is currently going through the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Services program."
Magistrate Stephen Guttridge said it would be beneficial to allow Vernon-Hall to remain in the community to continue receiving help for his drug problem from ATODS.
Vernon-Hall was convicted and sentenced to a head sentence of six months, wholly suspended for two years, and fined $1000.