Daniel James Jones leaves court after pleading guilty to breaking into an Ipswich business and stealing a mower and computer.
Daniel James Jones leaves court after pleading guilty to breaking into an Ipswich business and stealing a mower and computer.

Thief hits business across the road from home

A man who stole a mower and a computer from a real estate agency blamed a man named ‘Ray’ when police found the missing goods at his house.

At the time of the burglary the offender, Daniel Jones, was living across the road from Switch Realty in Newtown, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

A witness saw Jones and another male leave the real estate agency on Brisbane Road about 1.20am and called police.

Daniel James Jones, 39, a father of four who now lives at Loganlea, pleaded guilty to entering premises by break and stealing in Newtown on February 6, 2020.

Prosecutor Sergeant Molinaro said Jones had a serious criminal history in Queensland and Victoria, with a conviction for armed robbery. He has previously served jail time.

Sgt Molinaro said the witness described one of the suspicious males as being a thick set, while the other was said to have been shorter and slimmer.

A police dog tracked the scent to a house across the road.

“Mr Jones declared a computer in the bathroom was from the real estate office and said a friend named Ray had asked do you want it,” Sgt Molinaro said.

“He said he walked across the road and acted as a lookout.

“He could not give police Ray’s last name or details.

Daniel James Jones leaves court after pleading guilty to breaking into a business.
Daniel James Jones leaves court after pleading guilty to breaking into a business.

“The lawnmower was found in the bedroom, and there was a silver chain and an angle grinder.”

Defence lawyer John Wilson said Jones was making efforts to better himself, including buying tools to set up his own handyman business.

Mr Wilson said Jones instructed that he was a survivor of the infamous ‘Little Pebble’ religious group, while also growing up with his father being a member of an outlaw motorcycle group.

He was on medication for diagnosed paranoia and PTSD which he had been suffering at the time of offending, and treated for drug-related psychosis.

“It is a serious offence but it would be a setback to go into prison,” Mr Wilson said.

Magistrate Peter Saggers said a witness identified Jones as the person entering the real estate office where a computer and mower were stolen.

He noted his criminal history and that this included a gap in offending.

“Yes. I came to Queensland and was doing all right for a few years,” Jones said.

“I started hanging around the wrong people. Not an excuse. I got myself into trouble.”

Mr Saggers said he would give him a chance with an 18-month jail order, suspended for three years.

“To see if you are good to your word really,” Mr Saggers said.

“You have this opportunity. It is up to you.”