Drug-fuelled couple looted bushfire-ravaged store
DESPERATE drug-fuelled looters Leon Elton and girlfriend Kylie Pobjie have pleaded guilty to twice ransacking an electrical shop ravaged by bushfire on the NSW south coast and plundering MacBook laptops, mobile phones and drones worth a total $15,000.
Appearing via video link at Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday, plumber Elton spoke only to confirm his name and request medical assessment for his diagnosed schizophrenia.
Police allege 38-year-old from Tilba Tilba and mother of four Pobjie, 31, drove several hours in a white commodore van from Narooma, trudged through bushland and broke through a temporary fence around Beta Electrical on Cranbook Road in Batemans Bay, on Wednesday after the fires tore through the town.
They stuffed plastic bags full of undamaged equipment and loaded the car driven by an accomplice back to Pobjie's home.
The part-time cleaner pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny and two counts of entering a building with the intention of committing an indictable offence and two counts of disposing stolen property.
Twiddling her thumbs in a video link appearance at Batemans Bay Local Court, she pleaded for bail telling the magistrate: "Please your honour, I will do anything in my power, I won't let this happen again."
Court papers state Pobjie, from Tilba, has a history of drug abuse and police strongly oppose bail.
"Police strongly oppose bail as they believe the accused will continue to commit property crime to support their drug habit and the area around Batemans Bay is more susceptible to property crime due to extent of damage and relocation to residents due to catastrophic fires."
Court papers also state she disposed of a Nokia 2.2 mobile phone and Apple computer keyboard she knew had been stolen from the store, on January 8.
Her boyfriend of two years Elton pleaded guilty to two counts of entering a building with the intention of committing an indictable offence, two counts of larceny and two counts of disposing property worth $5,000 and possessing a prohibited the drug ice.
Pobjie's lawyer Adam Sambak told the court: "Kylie grew up in Bega and spent most of her life there until 2013 … she is the primary carer for her children aged 9, 10, 11 and 12 and this has been traumatic for them.
"Her criminal record is almost exclusively drug-related, she has shown she can abstain from drugs."
Both were refused bail by magistrate Doug Dick.
He told Pobjie: "It's jail for you. Just because you surrendered voluntarily doesn't mean you're off the hook."
She is scheduled to appear at Bateman's Bay Local Court for sentencing on February 3.
Elton is due to appear at Batemans Bay Local Court for sentencing assessment on January 13.
Unemployed Jeremy Holman appeared in court pleading not guilty to knowingly buying a $5000 haul of stolen mobile phones plundered from the same bush fire-damaged business.
Holman, 26, the third person charged in connection with the looting of the electrical store in Batemans Bay, was allegedly stopped by police as a passenger in a car when they discovered the mobile phones.
Appealing via video link at Batemans Bay Local Court, Holman will reappear on 10 February.
His arrest on Saturday takes the number of people charged with suspicious behaviour in the locality to six over the last week.