Serial thief's surprise letter to court after spree

APPEARING on serious drug and stealing charges, Ashley Noel Hobbs might have been expecting a lengthy prison sentence.

But Magistrate Terry Duroux was impressed by the insight Hobbs had shown in a letter presented to the court. 

Hobbs, 47, pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to a series of offences including receiving tainted property, stealing, six counts of fraud and attempted fraud.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing dangerous drugs and possessing utensils.

The court heard the charges related to the theft of clothing from Maryborough's Sports Power as well as clothing and hand tools from BCF in Hervey Bay.

The court heard Hobbs had come into possession of a laptop, two wallets and bank cards he had reason to believe were tainted property.

The court heard the COVID-19 crisis had impacted on Hobbs, who had been working picking pineapples up until the pandemic hit.

Loss of work led to financial distress.

The court heard when an associate gave him a bank card, Hobbs knew it was stolen but he made the poor choice to commit a series of offences.

Hobbs' drug addiction began when he served his first jail sentence at a New South Wales prison, the court was told.

By the time he was released he was a heroin addict.

The court heard Hobbs turned to drugs when things got rough as it was his way of coping with inner turmoil.

Magistrate Duroux said the letter Hobbs had submitted to the court showed real insight into his issues with drugs and his offending.

Hobbs was given a head sentence of four months in prison, wholly suspected with an operational period of two years.

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