A FORMER member of the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang who installed an entire kitchen, stolen from a nearby construction site, in his house at Booragul and was also found with numerous stolen ovens, microwaves and a gas cook top has pleaded guilty in Newcastle Local Court. Justin Barry, 29, was represented by solicitor Chris O'Brien when he appeared in court on Wednesday charged with 30 offences, including drug supply, break and enter, weapons and property offences.
Barry pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in relation to the stolen kitchen, cabinetry and a host of appliances, supplying 800 grams of a drug known as GBL and possession of a prohibited weapon and the majority of charges, including four counts of break and enter, were withdrawn.
Police said that between March 7 and 8 last year an unknown person broke into a construction site at Booragul and stole a number of kitchen, bathroom and laundry appliances, furniture and cabinetry.
And then again between March 9 and 11 someone broke into three other buildings on the construction site and stole more appliances, furniture and cabinetry, including an entire kitchen from one of the buildings.
The construction site was about 150 metres from Barry's home and workers were in the process of building an aged-care village now known as Marmong Waters, police said. The site manager estimated the value of the property stolen was more than $20,000 and the theft delayed the completion of the construction project for several months.
About three months later - on June 6 - police say they attended Barry's property to search it in relation to an unrelated matter.
They found his house was in the middle of being renovated, with a large number of uninstalled, brand-new appliances, cabinetry and building materials, labelled as being the property of Hunter Valley Care, the company building the nearby aged-care facility.
Quizzed on the uninstalled appliances, Barry told police it was an "excess order" that he had purchased from a building auction, but was unable to recall how much he paid for it or the name of the auction.
"If that was a stolen kitchen, do you think I'd leave stickers on it... saying where it came from?" Barry said to police.
Barry ultimately admitted not to stealing the items from the construction site, but to receiving the items - sometime between early March and April - knowing they had been stolen.
He told police he intended to install some of the cabinetry and appliances in his home, which he did, and sell the rest.