A ROCKHAMPTON man yesterday touched his heart and sent love to the mother of his unborn child, knowing he will be in prison for the baby's birth.
From the back of the courtroom, tears streamed down his partner's face as Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll told him prison was no longer a sentence of last resort and he had no other alternative.
William Joseph Mitchell, 35, had a criminal history seven pages long when he was convicted of unlawful use of a motor vehicle in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.
On June 5 this year, Mitchell drove a female friend to Rockhampton Airport in car she had rented. Instead of returning it to the Europcar depot as she had asked him to, Mitchell gave the car to another friend.
The car was found in Townsville two weeks later.
Mitchell declined a formal interview about the incident when he was questioned by police on another matter on June 25.
He was represented in court yesterday by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service solicitor, Shayne Studdert, who could only say that Mitchell had acknowledged he shouldn't have done what he did.
Mitchell's criminal history included dishonesty and drug offences, breaches of community orders, two previous suspended sentences and two terms in prison, which included two months in 2008 for unlawful use of a motor car.
Magistrate O'Driscoll told Mitchell he was in a difficult position, but considering his criminal history he had no alternative than to impose a custodial sentence.
Mitchell was given an early parole date of October 26, 2014 - too late to see the birth of his child, believed to be due in a couple of weeks.