'Well-respected': Former drug addict now has promising job
A FORMER drug addict and thief has completely turned his life around with study and a promising career as a ship master, a court has been told.
But police still haven't found the gun Ricky Zane Read and his co-accused stole from a West Stowe property in January 2018, among several other items.
Read, 27 pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday to three charges: enter premises and commit indictable offence, possess utensils, authority required to possess explosives.
The court was told Read was "heavily addicted to drugs" when he and his co-accused went hunting on a West Stowe property between January 24-28, 2018.
The vehicle the pair were travelling in broke down and in a bid to fix it, Read and his co-accused broke into a shed on the property.
The pair left the shed with quad bikes, tools, fuel, a trailer and a 12 gauge shot gun.
Magistrate Dennis Kinsella said the offending was very serious given the weapon was still "floating around" in the community.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said her client never had the weapon.
Ms Ditchfield said Read's co-accused had taken the gun and since her client had disassociated with the man, Read had no idea where the weapon was.
Ms Ditchfield said her client had completely cleaned his act up and was done with drugs.
She told the court Read was currently a trainee master and working for a ferry service in Gladstone.
She said upon completion of his studies, Read was guaranteed a master role with the business.
"He had a great upbringing, his parents operate a business," Ms Ditchfield said.
"He began using meth while working in industry at a large Gladstone site."
Ms Ditchfield said using meth was a common past time among employees at the site however read began to use the drug "heavily" after a relationship breakdown.
"That was the beginning of his decline," she said.
Ms Ditchfield spoke highly of Read and said he had been "working non-stop" since getting a job.
"He is a very well-respected man by anyone he encounters. He is a man who has a very bright future ahead of him."
Magistrate Dennis Kinsella imposed a five month jail term wholly suspended for two years.
He ordered Read to pay $271.5 to the victim of the theft.
Convictions were recorded.