Shoplifting spree ends in jail for Ballarat man

A SIX-MONTH shoplifting spree targeting seven different businesses has ended in jail for a Ballarat man.

Anthony Dawes, 29, appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Dawes pleaded guilty to 21 charges, including shopsteal, theft from motor vehicle and other drug and driving-related charges.

The court heard between May and October last year, Dawes committed eight separate offences of shoplifting or theft in the Ballarat area.

On one occasion he threw a meat pack he had stolen from Safeway in Stockland Wendouree over the shopping aisle, hitting another shopper in the head.

He also admitted to stealing thousands of dollars of computers from JB Hi-Fi and the Telstra shop on Doveton Street.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Adam McCormack said when Dawes was caught stealing a pram and child restraint from K-Mart, his excuse was that he "got a couple of weeks off work, it's the thing you do".

Dawes was also caught stealing hubcaps from Sunset Strip Service Station. 

Defence lawyer Mike Wardell said Dawes, who was already in custody, had an extremely troubled past, dotted with 16 separate terms of imprisonment.

Mr Wardell argued for a strict parole period instead of a prison sentence.

"He is the living example of the revolving door which is often sighted in court," he said.

"The nature of his offending is not as serious as it once was."

Magistrate Frank Jones said drugs were the main reason behind Dawes' offending and that he needed to clean up his habit to stay out of prison in the future.

"You're the only one who can determine if you get off the drugs and stay off it," Mr Jones said.

Dawes was sentenced to 14 months prison, with a non-parole period of six months.

Upon leaving the court back into custody, Dawes engaged in a verbal altercation with another man in the court, who was subsequently ejected.