30 September 2022

Man found in possession of several stolen items had 'unusually strong' interest in buy, swap, sell online

| Albert McKnight
Car on flatbed tow truck

The Nissan Skyline seized from Liam Jay Martin’s home in 2021. Photo: ACT Policing.

A magistrate has found a man unlawfully received a stolen Nissan Skyline and possessed several stolen items but cleared him over the majority of other items for which he had been charged.

Liam Jay Martin had an “unusually strong” interest in buying, swapping and selling items online and had done so for many years, Magistrate Louise Taylor said on Wednesday (28 September).

Martin described himself as having a compulsion to possess things like tools, computers and iPhones and wanted to surround himself with many items, even when he already owned the same one.

“I like to collect and keep things,” he said.

At times he spent all day swapping online, mentioning how he once swapped seven cars in one week.

He inherited a large sum of money he used to fund his passion and said he couldn’t afford to buy or sell stolen property because this would lead to poor reviews on the online marketplaces he used.

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Martin had come to the attention of police because the victim of a burglary told officers they had seen him selling his stolen iPhone on the online site Gumtree.

He was arrested in August 2021 after it was alleged police found stolen property at his home in Kingston when searching the place. He pleaded not guilty to his charges.

Magistrate Taylor told the ACT Magistrates Court said she was satisfied many items found at the 25-year-old’s home were stolen, but she also found his evidence to be genuine and thought he had an enthusiastic desire to understand how things worked.

When it came to a receiving stolen property charge, she cleared him of many items listed in it but found the offence proved when it came to the Skyline, he said an acquaintance had asked him to store at his place for a few days.

The car had been damaged and cost $2000 to repair when it was returned to its owner.

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In relation to an unlawfully possessing stolen property charge, Magistrate Taylor found he had proved there were no reasonable grounds for him to suspect many items listed in it were stolen.

However, she found the offence proved when it came to a dirtbike and several tools.

Lastly, she dismissed a charge of unauthorised possession of ammunition. Martin said he knew it had been in the house at some stage, but he thought his mother had gotten rid of it.

She continued Martin’s bail and listed the matter for sentencing on 3 November.

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