UNBE-LEAF-ABLE: Man cuts trees from state forest for profit
A STANTHORPE dad claimed he was only trying to make ends meet when he was busted chopping down trees in a state-protected forest to sell for firewood.
Corey William Wilmot cut down trees on April 18, September 28, and again on September 30.
The Stanthorpe Magistrates Court heard the father of three chopped the timber into firewood and sold it to customers for $390 profit.
CCTV footage proved the thief’s undoing, according to police prosecutor Ken Wiggan, who said Forestry Department’s officers set up the cameras to catch Wilmot red-handed.
Sgt Wiggan said Wilmot was cooperative with police and made several unsuccessful attempts to get a permit to legally fell trees in Durakai Forest after being charged.
Duty lawyer Amber Acreman told the court her client was unemployed at the time of the offending, so only sold the firewood out of desperation to provide for his three children, one of whom suffers from cerebral palsy.
Ms Acreman said Wilmot was also giving the firewood to an elderly neighbour who was without a heating system and struggling to keep out the winter cold.
Wilmot pleaded guilty to three counts of stealing and was fined $500.
No conviction was recorded.
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