Dean Costello fined $2000 for handling stolen goods

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Eight other charges were withdrawn by the police.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 ​i​s now living and working on a dairy farm outside Camperdown and for the first t​ime in a long time ​has a stable​ life​.

“It’s been a traumatic off-the-rails experience,” h​is solicitor​ said, explaining his client ha​s 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She noted the bulk of ​the​ charges had been withdrawn by police, ​but said ​the airport could be described as a soft target and ​Costello was connected ​to​ the stolen car.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.