A thief who cleared furniture out of a newly built South Albury house before the owner had even moved in has been given a jail term.
But if not for his efforts to stop using methamphetamine Grant Donald McLeod would be serving full-time custody.
"This is an extremely serious aggravated break and enter and I do believe it warrants a jail sentence," magistrate Richard Funston told McLeod in Albury Local Court.
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Police said McLeod had become involved in the theft of $20,000 in property from the Ebden Street house on the alleged instigation of his co-accused, Erin Donaldson.
The pair argued in the house and McLeod drove from the scene, towing a box trailer containing furniture and other items and leaving her behind.
Donaldson appeared briefly in court on Monday on charges related to the incident.
She has pleaded not guilty.
McLeod, 39, of Butson Avenue, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated break and enter in company and steal, dishonestly obtain property by deception and drive while licence suspended.
While he had no criminal history in NSW, he did have a Victorian record related to domestic violence.
Mr Funston told McLeod - who explained he had "lost my family, I lost my business" because of his "ice" addiction - he was surprised he represented himself over the burglary in late December.
McLeod was sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order, put on a community corrections order for the deception and for the suspended licence charge, was fined $600 and got a two-month licence disqualification.