NT man's road trip 'a crime spree from Gladstone to Ipswich'

AN IPSWICH court has heard how a Northern Territory man embarked on a crime spree as he travelled south through Queensland.

The man this week faced more than a dozen charges, two involving stolen cars and around $2000 in stealing offences.

Neil Roy Harvey, 47, of Chermside, appeared in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to entering premises and stealing by break; enter dwelling and stealing; five charges of stealing; a series of fraud charges; two charges of receiving tainted property; and two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said the charges involved the unlawful use of a car on March 15 at Benaraby near Gladstone, fuel drive offs at Benaraby, Parkhurst, Torbanlea on the Bruce Highway north of Maryborough, and Cooroy.

Harvey was charged with receiving credit cards at Newtown (Toowoomba) on March 23, unlawfully gaining financial benefit of $902 at Harristown on March 23, $456 at College View Gatton, and other financial benefits. He also stole $31 fuel from a servo at Willowbank on March 3.

One vehicle, a Hyundai, had been reported stolen from Murwillumbah in NSW.

Mr Tsoi said Harvey had a more extensive history in the Northern Territory with stealing, benefit by deception and trespass offences.

In December 2015 he was convicted in the NT and sentenced to six months jail.

Police sought restitution totalling $1225. In addition there were two fraud offences of $9.99 and $456.50, and a stealing offence involving goods worth $49.86 Defence lawyer Zara Rudan said Harvey was born in Maryborough and raised in Darwin and worked there and Queensland as a fisherman, bricklayer and ran a café on the Gold Coast.

She said his baby son died in a tragic fire at a Kulgera roadhouse in May 2000 and Harvey suffered serious burns trying to save him. He became addicted to morphine while being treated in hospital.

His wife later died and he had a new partner who he met in Alice Springs. She had a brain injury and Harvey is her carer.

Harvey had been held in custody since March 30

Magistrate Andy Cridland said his offending was "a crime spree down the Queensland coast, from Gladstone to Toowoomba and finishing here".

"It seems you did not pass through somewhere without taking something," he said.

Saying that the two unlawful use offences were the most serious, Mr Cridland sentenced Harvey to 12 months jail on each offence - to be served concurrently. He received six months jail on the other offences. With 101 days already spent in jail Harvey will be released to parole on July 30.



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