A 20-year-old man could be released from jail just in time for Christmas after he was sentenced in Orange Local Court on Monday for driving a stolen car.
Marty Moore of Bletchington, appeared in court via a video link from jail. He had pleaded guilty to driving the white Ford Falcon ute after police found his DNA and fingerprints on the steering wheel of the abandoned vehicle in the NSW Riverina.
He did not know the owner of the vehicle.
According to police, the locked ute was stolen from Coolamon near Junee overnight on April 24 and was reported missing on the morning of the 25th. Police found it abandoned at Gunbar about 60 kilometres from Hay at 2.20pm that day.
Officers from the Central West Proactive Crime Team arrested Moore at his home in Orange on August 25.
Solicitor Thomas Gooley said Moore had been driving with another man in the Wentworth area and took responsibility for his actions, accepting they were wrong.
"Mr Moore instructs me that he has some issues with drugs and alcohol and he has a child due in December," Mr Gooley said.
Mr Gooley said Moore also has mental health issues and suffered grief from an early age losing both his brothers, one when he was 13, and his father died when he was nine years old.
"Your Honour may find there's risk of instituationalisation," he said stating Moore first faced court at the age of 13, and he was given control orders, putting him in juvenile detention, at the age of 16.
Magistrate David Day sentenced Moore to nine months' jail with a four-month non-parole period. The sentence was backdated to Moore's arrest on August 25 and he could be released on parole on December 24.
Mr Day found special circumstances including his young age, being of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander heritage and experiencing unusually onerous conditions in jail as a result of COVID-19 precautions.
"Jails aren't designed for highly infectious residents, they can get sick real quick," Mr Day said.
Mr Gooley said due to the COVID lockdown the time Moore spent in the jail's AVL suite waiting to be sentenced was the longest period he had spend outside his cell in the 18 days since his arrest.
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