Watches, gold and silver jewellery fund addict's ice habit

A GREEDY burglar was found with seven watches and gold and silver jewellery after a spate of house break-ins.

Zechariah McLean admitted his crimes were committed out of his desperate need to fund an ice habit.

Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard this week told Ipswich Magistrates Court the burglaries were carried out on May 4, 5 and 6.

"He made admissions he was out doing break-and-enters to feed his drug habit," Mr Ballard said.

Zechariah Joel McLean, 30, from Redbank, appeared in custody and pleaded guilty to two charges of entering a dwelling to steal; entering with intent; two charges of entering premises to steal; possession of dangerous drugs; and unlawful possession of suspected stolen property.

Mr Ballard said McLean was in court on April 20 and received a six-month jail term for break-and-enter offences and given immediate parole.

But just two weeks later McLean was back out offending, showing "a complete disregard to the orders of the court".

His offending had escalated, with McLean entering people's homes to steal, then selling their goods to feed his drug habit.

Showing how brazen McLean had become, some of the victims were at home when the serial thief struck.

Along with the watches and jewellery, Mr Ballard said police found McLean with four mobile phones and an Apple Mac computer - all suspected of being stolen.

Defence lawyer Travis Finter said McLean had a history of methylamphetamine use.

Mr Finter said the young father had cleaned up during his three months in custody, but badly missed his young family.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess noted that in one burglary of a shed, McLean unwittingly left behind a bag behind containing his personal identification.

In another robbery, the victim heard a noise at 4.50am and found McLean breaking in through a window. He fled but left a fingerprint.

In a third burglary incident, a man disturbed McLean in a backyard, causing the thief to run off after he entered the house and stole a key.

Music equipment was also taken from one of the homes, while a stolen drill and black bag containing power tools was found at McLean's house.

McLean was sentenced to a series of jail terms ranging from nine months to two months.

The nine-month term will be added to an existing sentence and McLean will be eligible to apply for parole on October 19.