Thief turns himself in after theft

A MAN who broke into a stranger’s house and stole her jewellery felt so guilty about his crime he called police to confess.

Shane Oliver Howarth was drunk when he broke into the Alice St, Goodna home on December 27 through a louvre window and stole jewellery, an electric razor and other items from the bedroom.

Howarth also raided the woman’s fridge and freezer and stole food which he took home.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Howarth’s partner found the stolen items and handed them in to police, claiming she found them in a vacant lot.

But the Howarth, 36, called the Ipswich Criminal Investigation Branch a short time later to confess he had broken into the home.

“He committed the ‘silly act’ after consuming a four-litre cask of moselle,” prosecutor Senior Constable Bill Stothard told the court. “He felt guilty after leaving the address.”

Howarth pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence.

He was fined $500 and a conviction was recorded.

Snr Cnst Stothard said no compensation was sought as the items were returned.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather said the case was “rather unusual”.

“He obviously felt remorseful for what he’d done and his partner took the items to police,” Mr Leather said.

He said Howarth should be either fined or ordered to perform community service.

Magistrate Michael Quinn said he fined Howarth less than he ordinarily would have due to his cooperation with police.

“The offence of burglary is a very serious offence,” Mr Quinn said.

“But there are some unusual matters in this which means I will deal with you more leniently.

“The next day, feeling remorse, you phoned the police of your own volition and confessed.

“You have done everything since the offence to put it right.”

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