Jailed, but spared $39,000 bill

A THIEF who targeted a car dealership has been jailed for 18 months and disqualified from driving for 2 ½ years.

But he can thank his lucky stars he avoided also being hit with a $39,000 restitution bill.

Police sought an order for Shaun Harris to compensate his victims, but an Ipswich magistrate found the defendant had no means of paying.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Harris had been in jail since February after his parole for previous offences was revoked.

He went before Magistrate Donna MacCallum via video-link from jail.

Shaun David Harris, 28, from Moorooka, pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful use of motor vehicles; driving unlicensed when disqualified; possession of dangerous drugs; being in charge of a vehicle when under the influence; vehicle registration offences; two counts of entering premises by break; stealing; and driving unlicensed when disqualified.

Ms MacCallum said he received a three-year sentence from the District Court in 2016.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Bernard Elmore said almost $40,000 in restitution was sought for the significant replacement costs for the electronic car keys Harris stole from the dealerships.

Ms MacCallum said Harris was found slumped over the wheel of one car "substantially affected by drugs".

She sentenced Harris to various jail terms of 18 months and three months, to be served concurrently. He will be eligible to apply for parole in November.

He was disqualified from driving for 2 ½ years.

Ms MacCallum made no order for financial restitution, saying there was no reasonable prospect that it would be paid.