Dawesville man jailed for possession of stolen property worth $20,000

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

A 38-year-old Dawesville father has been sentenced to 12 months’ prison in relation to a string of burglaries over a six-month period in 2017.

David James Matthews pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including receiving and possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property, when he appeared in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Police prosecutor Tamara Read told the court Matthews was arrested on August 23, 2017 and, after a search of his property, located thousands of dollars of stolen property.

The stolen property included items reported missing from burglaries in Bouvard, Stakehill, Golden Bay, Dawesville and Herron between February and August, 2017.

Among the items recovered at the property was jewellery, books, cameras, SCUBA diving equipment, wetsuits, a trumpet, a ride-on esky and a kite surfing board.

In total, the estimated worth of the stolen property in Matthews’ possession was between $18,000 and $20,000.

Matthews’ lawyer, Ian Hope, told the court his client suffered from depression at the time of his offending.

“He and his partner were using drugs,” Mr Hope said.

“Since these charges, he has stabilised and they have ceased using drugs.

“They care for two children, 13-year-old twins, and his partner is pregnant and in need of my client for emotional support.”

His partner appeared in court to support him, and was visibly emotional as the sentence was handed down.

Matthews said he was “remorseful for his wrongdoings”.

Mandurah Magistrate Anne Longden acknowledged his unique situation but described the offending as “worrying”.

“This was a chaotic time of your life and misuse of drugs was concerned,” she said.

“Cases of receiving are serious and the sheer volume and value of those items is worrying.

“That doesn’t take into account the sentimental value to the owners.

“You have ceased drug use, you are working and contributing, you have family responsibilities … but you are not by any means a first offender, you have a long history of offences of dishonesty.

“This is the sort of offending the community is fed up with.”

Matthews was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, backdated to September 25, 2018 for time spent in custody, and will be eligible for parole.