DEFENCE lawyer Travis George has launched a stinging attack on police in Maryborough Magistrates Court, saying his client was being punished twice for the same crime.
His client, Scott Phillip Oliver, 31, pleaded guilty to charges relating to the theft of copper cable from Ergon Energy depots, despite that fact that he was already serving a prison sentence for the same crime.
Mr George said his client was already serving a prison sentence imposed by the court earlier in this year in relation to the offences after he pleaded guilty to receiving tainted property and fraud after he sold the copper cable.
Oliver was serving time in Maryborough Correctional Centre when police uncovered CCTV footage that indicated Oliver had not merely received, but had stolen the copper cable.
Oliver was charged with stealing and trespass, despite the fact that the other charges had already been dealt with and he was already serving a jail sentence for the crimes.
Mr George said that if police had brought the charges of stealing at the time, they would not have been able to go ahead with the receiving tainted property charge.
He said his client was essentially being punished twice for one offence, describing the decision to charge Oliver with stealing as "borderline".
"Restitution has already been ordered," Mr George told the court.
Mr George said his client had been proactive during his time in jail so far, completing further mining tickets in an effort to gain employment upon release.
Magistrate John Smith sentenced Oliver to six months in jail, but ordered that his parole release date, December 10, would remain the same.