Man tried to mislead cops
ASKING his partner’s dad to give a false statement and evidence to police after a series of break-ins has landed a Warwick man with a month in jail to think about his actions.
Justin Lindsay Norman Dobbins, 29, pleaded guilty in the District Court yesterday to the rare charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, along with a stealing spree involving UHF radios from heavy machinery.
The court heard Dobbins and an accomplice spent the Queen’s Birthday long weekend last year breaking into graders, rollers and other roadwork machines around Warwick belonging to the Southern Downs Regional Council, Main Roads and private contractors.
They stole a total of eight UHF radios, in addition to one taken on the night of May 29 with another accomplice.
Unfortunately for Dobbins, his main partner in crime dobbed him into police after being identified as a suspect in the break-ins.
The court was told Dobbins panicked and talked his de facto father-in-law into giving police a non-stolen radio and a false statement about it to put them off the scent, but the man had what the Crown Prosecutor called “a twang of conscience” and recanted his tale.
Dobbins was later charged not only with nine counts of breaking and entering but also with attempting to pervert the course of justice, which normally carries a jail term.
Dobbins, an unemployed father of two, was also sentenced to three months’ jail, suspended for two years, for his part in the break-ins.
Judge Richard Jones said intentionally misleading police to avoid detection “strikes at the heart of the administration of justice”.
Dobbins’ principal accomplice, Douglas John Paton, 34, was earlier sentenced to 14 months’ probation for his part in their weekend of crime.
The third man involved in the May 29, 2009 theft, James Keith Tame, 26, was jailed for two months after also pleading guilty to stealing about $40,000 worth of other gear from local roadwork sites.
Attempting to pervert the course of justice carries a maximum jail term of seven years, increased from two in 2003, reflecting what Judge Jones said was the way in which the community “denounced” such actions.