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‘Bonnie and Clyde’ run finishes with jail time

IPSWICH'S own "Bonnie and Clyde" couple who went on a 12-month crime spree, committing dozens of offences and stealing more than $25,000 in property and cash, has faced court.

Clinton Jeffrey Harch, 30, and Chantelle Tammare Budby, 27, were partners in life and in their crime rampage throughout Ipswich and the south-east between February and November last year.

Harch pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to 41 offences including burglary, stealing, fraud, possessing drugs, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop and assaulting police. He broke into multiple homes and businesses and stole property worth $25,580.

He helped himself to $5000 cash in an unlocked open safe at a Plainland hardware store, stole $3777 in gold jewellery from a Gatton business and committed multiple burglaries, taking more than $12,000 worth of property.

Harch drove off from 10 service stations without paying for fuel.

Some of his offending was opportunistic, where he drove past equipment and simply took it - including a $2500 generator which he sold for $200.

Not even firewood was safe around Harch, or a truck parked outside the Queensland Country Women's Association clubhouse.

He also stole a wallet from a home and fraudulently used the credit card throughout the day.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess was astounded at "the loss people have suffered as a result of your offending".

"There's no doubt these people could not afford to lose what you took from them," Ms Sturgess

told Harch.

"The dangerous operations of motor vehicles are very serious - you were crossing over to the other side of the road - putting other drivers at risk."

Harch was sentenced to two-and-a-half years prison, and with 92 days already spent in custody, he will be ready for parole on November 11.

Budby, from Yamanto, has entered pleas of guilty to 11 offences of burglary, stealing and obstructing police and will be dealt with on March 26.

Harch's defence said the "only explanation" for his offending was to gain funds to feed an amphetamine addiction.

Topics:  court




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