A FARM worker who stole a Toyota Hilux ute and sold it on a Facebook buy, swap and sell website has been fined$1500 and ordered to pay $1500 compensation.
Tyler Jordan-Steel, 28, of Richmond Street, Colac, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing which became a guilty plea after he was told he would not be jailed.
Magistrate Ron Saines said a number of factors indicated that Jordan-Steel had acted dishonestly.
He said that the accused had on-sold the ute when he could not pass on the title.
Police said that Jordan-Steel had worked on a farm where a previous employee had stored a ute as payment for a $5000 debt.
Overnight on March 22 last year Jordan-Steel loaded the ute on to a trailer which he transported to his parents’ home at Koroit.
He advertised the ute on buy, swap and sell and sold the ute for $1500 to an Ararat buyer.
The new owner kept the ute for eight or nine months and spent between $1000 and $1500 on it before realising it was going to be too costly to fix the vehicle to a roadworthy state.
He advertised the ute for sale for $3000, the original owner became aware and police seized the vehicle.
That purchaser said he did not suspect the vehicle was stolen.
Jordan-Steel claimed that he was owed between $500 and $600 by a neighbour of the owner and also gave him a box of spirits before taking the ute which he claimed made his situation “equal”.
Solicitor Belinda Northey said her client did not think it was theft at the time.