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No Caption Jay Fielding

Man, 20, jailed over Sugarland ring theft

"I'M OFF".

With those two simple words, 20-year-old Jesse Cox high-tailed it out of a Bundaberg jewellery store with a $5999 engagement ring.

In the Bundaberg Magistrates Court today, Cox pleaded guilty to stealing the white gold 3/4 carat solitaire diamond ring from Michael Hill Jewellers at Sugarland Shoppingtown on September 8.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Grant Klaassen said Cox asked staff to look at the engagement ring for his girlfriend.

Once he'd been handed the ring Snr Const Klaassen said Cox said "I'm off" to staff before he ran out of the store with the item.

"Once he had the ring in his hands he's just run off," he said.

Police used forensic evidence and CCTV footage to find Cox and he was arrested in Gladstone on September 11.

Defence lawyer Lavonda Maloy said her client had been diagnosed with a mental health condition and stole the ring as a means of providing support for his girlfriend and their young child.

"He's always been led by peer pressure and he'd been offered some money for the ring," she said.

"In hindsight he realises it was not he smartest decision to make in the world."

Ms Maloy said Cox had recently learnt his father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, a devastating blow after he lost his mother to cancer earlier in the year.

She said any time Cox spent behind bars stopped him from spending quality time with his father.

In sentencing Cox, Magistrate Cox took into consideration his criminal history, which included prison terms for similar offending.

He sentenced Cox to 12 months jail with an eligible parole release date after four months and ordered him to pay $5999 restitution.


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