Court rejects thief's bid for time to appeal
A MARYBOROUGH man who was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for a string of property and fraud offences has had his application for more time to appeal his sentence rejected by the state's top court.
Jason Bradley Gates, 43, was jailed in October, 2012, for the offences which occurred in 2010 and 2011 including a break-and-enter in which he took more than $125,000 in property.
At the time of the offences Gates was serving a five-year suspended sentence for similar offences stemming from a 2007 conviction.
Gates, who represented himself in the Queensland Court of Appeal on Monday, said he was under the impression his legal team would have lodged an appeal on his behalf, but when he found out they had not, the time to lodge the application had expired.
He told the court it was always his intention to appeal the sentence.
"I was a heavy meth addict at the time of my offending after falling back into drugs after the death of my brother in 2010," he said.
"I ended up getting in over my head with criminal organisations who sold me the drugs.
"They imposed 100% interest on what I owed them and I panicked, which led to my offending."
Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo told Gates for the application to be successful he had to prove there was a genuine reason as to why he missed the 28-day deadline to lodge an appeal.
She said he was also required to prove he had a realistic chance based at law that if his application were granted, his appeal might be successful.
"You have a shocking criminal history," she said.
"I note that you have about 75 convictions for similar-type offences and you were on a suspended sentence when you were convicted in 2012."
Justice McMurdo said Gates received a four-year jail sentence for his 2012 offences and the judge also activated the three-and-a-half years he had remaining on his suspended sentence.
"If this application was granted it is unlikely his appeal would be successful," she said.
"I therefore would refuse the application."
The court heard Gates will be eligible to apply for parole in June, 2015, after having served three years and nine months of his sentence.