A MAN sold a stolen boat on Gumtree because he was trying to settle a drug debt, Mandurah Magistrates Court was told today.
Michael Stephen Grayson pleaded guilty to stealing a boat worth $1200 and fraudulently gaining $650.
Police prosecutor Constable Sean Discombe said Grayson visited the home of a man, who owned a boat hiring business, on October 15, 2016.
Grayson visited the man to create a boat lease contract where they both agreed the boat would be kept at Grayson’s house.
The contract outlined the man would be able to use the boat whenever he wanted and could cancel the contract at any time.
A few days after the contract was made, the man agreed and signed it and Grayson took the boat home.
Const Discombe said Grayson agreed to send the owner a copy of the contract but never did.
Police said the owner made attempts to contact Grayson but he was not able to get in touch with him.
Const Discombe said both men eventually spoke and agreed the contract was not working but the man gave Grayson the opportunity to buy the boat off him.
The man did not hear from Grayson again and in December 2016 he reported his boat stolen.
In the meantime, Grayson had put the boat for sale on Gumtree for $1000.
Grayson negotiated a fee of $650 with the buyer on December 30, 2016 and re-assured the buyer the boat was registered in his name.
Grayson, who represented himself, told the court he made a “really bad mistake because he was put in a sticky situation”.
“I owed a drug debt to another person and I was stuck in it,” he said.
Magistrate Anne Longden said it seemed Grayson went to “some trouble” to steal.
“You duped an innocent party to pay for something that wasn’t even yours in the first place,” she said.
“I’m still disturbed you still consider you couldn’t have done anything else than what you did.”
Magistrate Longden deemed Grayson’s offences as “dishonest” and sentenced him with a 12-month community based order with supervision requirements. She also issued Grayson to complete 100 hours of community work.