Prison term for fuel-stop thief

A FUEL stop ended up being the downfall of a young thief who was yesterday convicted of committing a break and enter crime spree on Coffs Harbour businesses last year.

Mathew James Maton, 21, of Boambee East has been sentenced to serve two years and six months in prison after being found guilty of multiple aggravated break, enter and steal charges.

The trial before Judge G. Hosking, heard Maton and an accomplice, Mason Laurie, of Toormina, broke into businesses at Park Beach on May 18, last year.

In detailing their evidence, police told the court in the wake of the break and enters detectives sought security vision from a nearby police station. CCTV pictures obtained from the Bailey Centre Mobil showed Maton, Laurie, two young girls and another male stopping to purchase fuel, just minutes before the first break-in at HomeBase.

There Mason and Laurie forced entry through the front door of the main office stealing an iPod and petty cash.

The pair then broke into Eastland Engineering in Allison Street forcing a window and stealing cash. Thirty minutes later they broke into a nearby art studio using a jemmy bar to prise open the front door.

The owner of the premises was asleep at the time but woke to breaking glass and scared the offenders off the premises.

After collecting their evidence, police raided the homes of both men, retrieving the stolen property and a backpack full of tools used to commit the break-ins. Laurie was this week ordered to serve a year’s imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months.

THE man taken into custody after Wednesday night’s stabbing in Park Beach has been charged by police. With the assistance of interpreters detectives yesterday charged the 45-year-old man with reckless wounding causing grievous bodily harm. Investigators have not been able to interview the victim of the stabbing, a man in his 40s who remains in hospital having undergone surgery. The accused has been granted conditional bail to appear in Coffs Harbour Court on March 29.

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