Michael Dobbs got 12 months jail. but he could be out in four months.
Michael Dobbs got 12 months jail. but he could be out in four months.

Gladstone man steals pub ATM with council's Mazda ute

MICHAEL Dobbs and a mystery mate stole the ATM from Calliope's Railway Hotel, using a stolen Gladstone Council ute to drive off with it.

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After his capture he refused to dob-in his accomplice who had apparently "protected" him during a jail stint.

Dobbs, 36, a dad of two, was sentenced to 12 months jail after pleading guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to being an accessory after the fact to Crime committed by Shannon Hinchey by allowing him to stay at his home in January.

Prosecutor Gavin Reece put to the court Hinchey had been sought following a police pursuit on Boxing Day in which his black Commodore ute crashed, Hinchey fleeing into mangroves off Benaraby Road to evade police.

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Dobbs also pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a council Mazda ute at Calliope; stealing an ATM at 1.20am on Sunday, January 24 after a break in; and receiving tainted property, $669.80; and two bail breaches.

Mr Reece said offenders broke into the Railway Hotel, picked up the ATM and left, loading the machine into the tray of the ute and driving off.

At 11.30am that day police spoke to Dobbs near Benaraby Road and in a pat-down search found $669.80 cash, including 33 $20 notes.

At first Dobbs claimed the money was from savings from his pays and that he spent the night at a friend's house in Tannum Sands but left in the morning when the husband returned. He told officers he had never been to the Railway Hotel.

However, with the ute found Dobbs admitted his involvement in the break-in, saying a friend (who he would not name) picked him up that night saying he wanted help "in lifting something".

The pair picked up the ATM at the hotel in Calliope and the cash from the ATM was given to Dobbs later.

Michael Dobbs pleaded guilty to the unlawful use of a council ute.
Michael Dobbs pleaded guilty to the unlawful use of a council ute.

The hotel lost $7200 because the ATM was not insured.

Lawyer Jun Pepito said Dobbs is a former Biloela resident who while in jail previously met a prisoner, the co-accused, who he wouldn't give up to police because he protected him in jail.

"In early January he got messages from the co-accused. He thought it best to assist in what they were about to do, he felt pressured," Mr Pepito said.

"He was given some of the cash. He was asked about it, when told it was confiscated he was assaulted."

Mr Pepito said Dobbs had since been helping out an Anglican church soup kitchen in Gladstone.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke sentenced Dobbs to 12 months jail and set his parole release date on August 15.

"Your criminal conduct is serious. You know right from wrong," Mr Clarke said.

"Out of a sense of misguided loyalty because he protected you, you involved yourself in serious offending and did not provide information about him (to police)."


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