Parole gave thief free rein to offend

AN IPSWICH man's light-fingered lifestyle resulted in 20 charges and a return to prison.

A court was this week told Darren Lalor could not even resist the lure of a frying pan that he stole from Target.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess sent Lalor back to jail, making it clear she was unhappy his parole seemed to give him free rein to offend.

Darren Paul Lalor, 49, from Ipswich, pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing; three counts of driving when disqualified by court order; receiving tainted (stolen) property; operating a vehicle when its number plate had been confiscated by police; removing/tampering with a confiscation notice; registration offences; fraud; possession of stolen property; wilful damage; and failing to appear in court.

Police prosecutor Michael Lee said Lalor stole a mountain bike valued at $875 that had not been found. He said the cable securing it outside a boarding house was cut and the bike taken.

Lalor had received stolen registration plates and stolen clothes from Target and Just Jeans. He stole alcohol from Dan Murphy's the day before Anzac Day.

Mr Lee said most offences were aggravated as Lalor carried them out while on parole.

Mr Lee said Lalor had 10 previous driving when disqualified offences and at least 15 for unlicensed driving.

Lalor had 18 breaches on his history.

Stolen goods included a TomTom GPSand Acer laptop that were found in a car Lalor was driving, along with the business cards of their owner.

Police sought a jail term.

"How did he get away with not having his parole cancelled through all of this," Ms Sturgess asked.

"And he failed to appear in court twice."

Defence lawyer Amy Zanders said Lalor had been diagnosed with depression and instructed he was slowly turning his life around.

She sought for any jail term to be suspended or for Lalor to serve minimal time but with a longer operational period.

"Why should he not suffer the consequences of his actions? He's continually offended (on parole)," Ms Sturgess said. "He has done stealing, fraud, and disqualified driving."

Ms Sturgess said most of the offences were carried out between January 2- May 14, with only three not subject to parole.

"How you never got your parole cancelled is beyond me," she said. "You didn't. You managed to survive it."

Ms Sturgess said Lalor even stole a key left by a club attendant in a poker machine after it malfunctioned.

She said she had stopped counting Lalor's unlicensed driving offences once she reached 20.

"Your parole should have been cancelled," she said.

Ms Sturgess noted one victim had said if Lalor had been locked up "he wouldn't be stealing from me".

Lalor was sentenced to eight months' jail and ordered to serve three months.

The remaining five months would be suspended for one year.