A CHRONIC addiction to the drug ice fuelled a burglary spree that netted a Wodonga man a haul valued at more than $100,000.
After going cold turkey and kicking a heroin addiction, Daniel Neall was clean for just a couple of years before a group of new friends got him hooked again.
But his ice addiction was far harder to fight and he had repeatedly failed to beat it before his arrest late last month, defence solicitor Mario Vaccaro told Wodonga Court yesterday.
Wodonga detectives valued the goods stolen largely from Wodonga businesses at $41,670.
The balance of the $100,000 haul is from burglaries that police said were still being investigated by NSW police.
Magistrate Susan Armour said Neall would be jailed — the only question was for how long.
She adjourned sentencing against the 24-year-old until this morning to give herself more time to think.
Mr Vaccaro had pushed for a suspended sentence, but Ms Armour just smiled and said that simply would not be possible given the scale of what was a series of large, commercial burglaries.
Mr Vaccaro said Neall had gone clean from his ice addiction in the 31 days he had spent in custody since his arrest, which showed he had substantial scope for rehabilitation.
When asked by Ms Armour for the police response to sentencing, the prosecutor replied: “I think it’s ironic that he’s looking better but Mr Vaccaro wants him out”.
It took 20 minutes for police to spell out the series of burglaries that Neall committed between June and December.
Neall — who pleaded guilty to 22 charges — broke into the Jacob Motors yard in Melrose Drive, Wodonga, made his way through the Albury Wodonga RV World yard and broke into three motorhomes, stealing a CD player from each, a flat screen television, and cash from an office, a total value of $4150.
A couple of months earlier he broke into the $25 million Quest building project in Elgin Boulevard, near the Wodonga police station, stealing power tools and computers worth $25,500.
Police went to Neall’s flat on December 28 and found a stash of tools under a plastic sheet in the backyard and more stolen goods in the garage.