ACT News


Serial car thief given jail sentence

A serial car thief, who sought a discounted sentence due to time spent in protective custody, has been jailed for 16 months.

Elliot John Fleet was sentenced on Tuesday in the ACT Supreme Court over a spate of crimes that spanned two months.

Fleet, 23, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, property damage and two counts of car theft. He also faced scheduled offences of unlicensed driving, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

The court heard Fleet stole two cars in December last year. The first theft was thwarted after the car Fleet stole was stopped at a boom gate after the owner, who worked for the parking station, prevented the vehicle from exiting the Phillip car park. Later that day, he was seen driving a car that had been reported stolen and was arrested. A month later, Fleet was seen going through a red light and led police on a chase, crossing onto the wrong side in an attempt to evade capture.

On January 25, the man and two co-offenders broke into an apartment looking for cannabis. They ransacked the home and stole electrical equipment when they could not find any drugs. Fleet was arrested the next day.

Fleet then lost his temper while in custody when told he would not be granted bail.


He was placed in a padded cell where he tore vinyl and pads off the walls and doors.

Justice Hilary Penfold said the main concern in deciding sentence was the dangerous driving offences, which put the safety of Fleet, police and the public at risk.

Justice Penfold noted his criminal history included convictions for assault and property offences.

Defence lawyer Paul Edmonds argued time spent in protective custody was equivalent to 1½ times the same period spent in the general prison population.

Justice Penfold sentenced Fleet to 3½ years imprisonment, backdated to January 4, with a non-parole period of 16 months.

Fleet was also disqualified from holding a drivers' licence for three months for four traffic offences, to be served while he is in custody.

He will be eligible for parole in May 2013.