Excavator, paraglider parts stolen in rural crime spree
A NORTHERN NSW man will be behind bars until at least next year for a spate of rural thefts.
Adam Aldo Smith, 33, from Camira, 40km south of Casino, faced Lismore Local Court via video link from custody on Monday.
Smith and his co-accused, David Daniel Clough, 32, were arrested in late August after an extensive police investigation into a string of rural thefts between May and August.
Smith had pleaded guilty to 11 charges including two counts of break and enter involving theft, larceny, three counts of stealing a trailer, stealing a motor vehicle and drug-related offences.
According to court documents, Smith – allegedly in the company of Mr Clough – stole $8000 worth of cattle yard panels from a Bean Creek property on August 20.
Smith pleaded guilty to stealing a large amount of equipment from a property at Tunglebung, northeast of Tabulam, on August 25.
This included a post driver, paraglider motor, Honda CR250 motorbike, brush-cutter, a large amount of tools, an electric fence and other equipment.
The same day, he took a trailer from a Culmaran Creek property.
In June, he stole a trailer carrying an excavator from Grafton and earlier took a caravan from Corindi Beach in May.
Smith stole equipment and cement bags from a NSW Roads and Maritime work site compound in Piora overnight on August 24.
When police executed a search warrant at the Camira address where Smith and Mr Glough were living on August 28, Smith was living in the stolen caravan.
In court, defence solicitor Natasha Wood said Smith “accepts that he has a drug problem”.
“He both needs and wants assistance,” Ms Wood said.
The court heard photos of some of the stolen items were found on Smith’s phone upon his arrest.
His offence of enhanced indoor cultivation of cannabis, which involved 28 plants, was made worse by the fact seven children were living at the property, the court heard.
Ms Wood said her client’s drug supply offending was committed “essentially to feed his drug habit”.
She said Smith was “someone who does have prospects of rehabilitation.”
“He’s expressed a desire and willingness to engage in treatment,” she said.
“There’s a clear need for treatment and rehabilitation in the community.”
Magistrate Jeff Linden said the offending was “a real crime spree”.
He sentenced Smith to 18 months behind bars, with a non-parole period to end on April 27 2021.
Police said in court documents the total value of items stolen was about $30,000.
Some of the stolen property has not been recovered.