A MAGISTRATE hopes a Camperdown district man with a shocking criminal history has reached the end of a “torturous journey” after fining him $2000.
Dean James Costello, 31, previously of Murray Street, Colac, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to two counts of handling stolen goods, relating to a Mazda vehicle and a television.
Eight other charges were withdrawn by the police.
Police said that overnight on January 13 a car owner was sleeping in a caravan annex at Safety Beach when his Mazda was stolen.
It came into Costello’s possssion a couple of days later.
On January 16 unknown offenders also entered the Peterborough airport and stole a television.
The same day the black Mazda was seen by Colac police but it avoided them.
About 10.30pm that night police officers found the Mazda abandoned in Colac.
The television was in the rear of the car.
Forensic tests linked Costello to the car and the television.
Costello has a long list of prior appearances including court hearing in June and November last year, one which resulted in a 10-month jail term.
Costello has a long involvement with the criminal justice system after leaving school at 14 years old to work in an abattoir, when he started using cannabis and speed.
He is now living and working on a dairy farm outside Camperdown and for the first time in a long time has a stable life.
“It’s been a traumatic off-the-rails experience,” his solicitor said, explaining his client has been clean for 15 months and out of rehab for two and a half months.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Costello had been a regular offender.
She noted the bulk of the charges had been withdrawn by police, but said the airport could be described as a soft target and Costello was connected to the stolen car.
Ms Toose said that for the first time in a long long time Costello was caring for himself after taking his family on a "dreadful" journey.
She said that crystal methamphetamine was the scourge of society and people using that drug, who were normally law abide citizens, sometimes behaved in the most outrageous manner.
The magistrate said if Costello came back to court charged with similar offending he could expect to serve a long term in prison.
Costello was supported in court by members of his family.
As well as being fined $2000, Costello was paced on an 18-month community corrections order with conditions he undertake treatment and rehabilitation for drug issues.