‘You should be in jail’: Man's crime bender while on parole
AN IPSWICH criminal on parole for dishonesty charges chose to reoffend and risk serious jail time by knocking off two sets of licence plates in Springfield last year.
Scott Anthony Owens pleaded guilty to 16 charges in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court this week including four counts of stealing and two counts of offences involving stolen registration certificates in September 2019 while he was on parole for several other charges.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Owens has a record of dishonesty offences dating back every year since 2010 and a lengthy criminal history going back to his teens.
His other charges included possessing tainted property, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of a knife in public, contravening a direction of requirement of police, wilful damage, unlawful possession of weapons, driving an uninsured vehicle and authority required to possess explosives.
Duty lawyer Chris Campbell said Owens, now 28, has been a drug user since he was 13 and blamed this recent spate of criminal activity on a drug relapse.
"Since the last lot of offending my client has completed a number of courses in relapse prevention through Lives Lived Well in Kingaroy, specifically dealing with his use of illicit substances," he said.
Owens was serving a lengthy period of parole when he committed two separate licence plate thefts, one at the Orion Shopping Centre and again at anther Springfield location.
Magistrate Louisa Pink said Owens' early plea of guilty would be taken into account but mentioned the four charges of stealing were the most concerning offences.
"You seem to think that you can just help yourself," she said.
"Going to Bunnings and getting a jerry can and then just (taking) registration plates wherever you are …"
Owens has an extensive criminal history with recorded convictions for drugs offences and multiple weapons charges and was on a parole period of seven and a half years after his release in February 2019 before committing the latest string of offences in June and September.
"Mr Owens, ordinarily you should be in jail, but the parole authorities have decided not to sanction you and that probably says something about your performance on parole," Ms Pink said.
"You are already on a lengthy parole period; you have another year on parole … The offending is relatively low-level, but it is repeated nature that is the most serious aspect."
Ms Pink ordered Mr Owens receive recorded convicted for all 16 charges and sentenced him to over 30 months of imprisonment and was charged $830 in fines.
Ms Pink mentioned the severity of the recent offending did not warrant Owens to serve actual time in prison on this occasion and ordered that all of the terms of imprisonment be suspended forthwith.
"The operational period during which you must not commit another offence punishable by imprisonment if you want to avoid serving that six months in prison is 18 months," she said.
"You know what suspended sentences means, if you are before the court convicted of an offence carrying a period of imprisonment the law states that you must be sentenced to serve these six months."
Ms Pink also ordered Owens pay $2327.59 to the victim of the wilful damage within four months with the stipulation that if he were to default, Owens would have to serve ten days in prison.
- On each of the four stealing charges Ms Pink ordered Owens be convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment.
- On the wilful damage charge, Owens was convicted and sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
- For the possession of the knife he was convicted and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, in respect of the possession of the category A rifle and the possession of tainted property charges he was convicted and sentenced to three months' imprisonment
- For the charge of driving while uninsured he was convicted and charge $520.
- For each of the charges involving using a registration issued to another vehicle, Owens was convicted and charged $310 and on the balance of the charges he was convicted but not further punished.