SENTENCED: Gavin Vincent McMahon pawned stolen jewellery at Cash Converters.
SENTENCED: Gavin Vincent McMahon pawned stolen jewellery at Cash Converters. Geoff Potter

Jail for ice addict who stole heirlooms

HIS crimes cost families irreplaceable, precious heirlooms, now an ice addict has vowed to turn his life around.

Caloundra West man Gavin Vincent McMahon, 24, was yesterday sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to three burglaries, receiving tainted property, fraud and attempted fraud.

He entered homes and a vehicle and stole property including wedding rings, then pawned them at Cash Converters.

Twenty-two of the stolen items were recovered, but not an irreplaceable ring that had belonged to one victim's grandmother.

In her victim impact statement the woman spoke of sitting on the floor crying for hours after discovering the ring missing, along with her own engagement and eternity rings.

"I was feeling sheer disbelief that someone could have come in and taken my jewellery," she said.

"I couldn't speak, I cried for hours."

Another victim said she had lost thousands of dollars worth of jewellery that had strong sentimental value to herself and her family, that no amount of money could replace.

When he committed the burglaries in October and November last year, McMahon was serving a a probation order for stealing a handbag off the beach, fraud and attempted fraud.

He was also on bail for serious offences before the Brisbane District Court, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison in December last year.

He will be released in June 2018.

Solicitor Nichale Bool said it was expected McMahon, a New Zealand national who was born in South Africa and who had lived with his family in Australia since 2005, when he was 11 years old, would be deported when he was released from prison.

"They (McMahon, his wife and new baby) have no family support over there, no work prospects and no living arrangements in place," she said.

Ms Bool said McMahon's drug use had escalated after finding his grandfather's body in the family home after he committed suicide.

"He states he hasn't coped with his grief well ... the drug offences do commence and escalates in 2015 and he states this is when he started his addiction to ice and that was due to his grief," she said.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said "drug addled people" like McMahon had no empathy or respect for other people and their property.

"It is devastating beyond money for people to lose heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation," he said.

The sentences he gave McMahon yesterday would not affect the release date set for him in June next year.

Speaking via videolink from prison, McMahon said the past six months spent in prison had left him feeling "nothing but shame" for what he had done and brought on his family.

"I can't replace the items that were taken I just would like to let you know that I'm going to be a changed man when I am released after the 18 month," he said.

Mr Stjernqvist wished him "all the best" but warned him it was easy to say that from prison, but would be harder to follow through with when he was released and again subject to the temptation of drugs.

He ordered McMahon pay $1443 in restitution to his victims.



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