A FARM worker who stole a Toyota Hilux ute and sold it on a Facebook buy, swap and sell website has been fined$1500 and ordered to pay $1500 compensation.
Tyler Jordan-Steel, 28, of Richmond Street, Colac, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing which became a guilty plea after he was told he would not be jailed.
Magistrate Ron Saines said a number of factors indicated that Jordan-Steel had acted dishonestly.
He said that the accused had on-sold the ute when he could not pass on the title.
Police said that Jordan-Steel had worked on a farm where a previous employee had stored a ute as payment for a $5000 debt.
Overnight on March 22 last year Jordan-Steel loaded the ute onto a trailer which he transported to his parents’ home at Koroit.
He advertised the ute on buy, swap and sell and sold the ute for $1500 to an Ararat buyer.
The new owner kept the ute for eight or nine months and spent between $1000 and $1500 on it before realising it was going to be too costly to fix the vehicle to a roadworthy state.
He advertised the ute for sale for $3000, the original owner became aware and police seized the vehicle.
That purchaser said he did not suspect the vehicle was stolen.
Jordan-Steel claimed that he was owed between $500 and $600 by a neighbour of the owner and also gave him a box of spirits before taking the ute which he claimed made his situation “equal”.
Solicitor Belinda Northey said her client did not think it was theft at the time and did not dispute he took the ute but thought he had the right to take it.