Jail for NSW south coast bushfire looters

Finbar O'Mallon
Two looters have been jailed for stealing from a fire-damaged store on NSW's south coast

A pair of "grubs" who twice robbed a fire-damaged shop on the NSW south coast during the recent bushfires have been thrown behind bars.

Leon Elton and Kylie Eva Pobjie broke into Betta Electrical at Batemans Bay on January 8, stealing more than $20,000 worth of stock.

Elton, 37, and Pobjie, 32, were both sentenced on Monday to at least six months' jail.

They will be placed on parole following their release from prison.

Handing down his sentence to Elton, magistrate Doug Dick described his crimes as "despicable" given the bushfire crisis.

"Every day it's just a raw reminder of what you did," Mr Dick said.

Elton's lawyer Adam Sumbak said the family would be the main ones to feel the south coast community's wrath for his crimes.

The court also heard about Elton's problems with drugs, which developed into psychotic episodes like the one he claimed to have been in when he robbed the store.

Elton appeared via video link from prison and only spoke to address the magistrate.

The co-accused, Pobjie, appeared in court in prison greens with her partner in court to support her.

Pobjie's lawyer pointed to the fact she had phoned the police to admit to the crimes.

"I have no doubt what you have done at the time weighed heavily on your mind," Mr Dick said.

But the magistrate said emotions in the community were still running high with the region not yet out of danger.

"People expect courts to respond," Mr Dick said.

The court heard Pobjie, a mother of four, had previously been in an abusive relationship.

Her lawyer said she hadn't originally planned to rob the store, rather she and Elton had travelled to the Batemans Bay area for drugs.

Elton and Pobjie later returned to loot the store a second time that night.

With their sentences backdated to January, the earliest the pair will be eligible for release is July.

When the two looters were arrested in early January, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller blasted them for taking advantage of the bushfires.

"These looters are absolute grubs," Mr Fuller said.

"We've put additional police into the fire zones to make sure we're arresting as many of them as we can and they will feel the full force of the law."

A third person remains in custody charged with receiving stolen goods.

He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on February 10.