College of Crime tag a fairytale

TWO residents of the house dubbed the "College of Crime'' yesterday claimed they had been unfairly targetted.

Anthony Rayner, 30, and Justin Jacobsen, 19, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $20,000 in goods from a Daniel Street home in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Monday.

But the Rockhampton pair said it was their first conviction of that nature (Mr Rayner has previous traffic convictions) and felt they had been wrongly portrayed.

"We just want people to leave us alone and stop treating us like we are thugs or gang members,'' Mr Jacobsen said.

Both said they would regret the crime forever, but claimed they were forced to do it because they needed the money.

"When you're hard up for cash you do what you need to ... We all go out for work every day but I can't find anything,'' Mr Rayner said.

"I'm sure there are a lot of people in town who have done much worse than that ... he (victim) got everything back as far as I know,'' Mr Jacobsen said.

They expressed their anger at Rayner's solicitor Doug Winning who labelled their Harbourne Street residence a "college of crime'' in court on Monday.

"It's just lawyers, they just take one thing and make it into a fairytale,'' Mr Jacobsen said.

"When I heard him say that I wanted to get up and stomp on his head. I think I'll represent myself in future,'' Mr Rayner said.

But Mr Winning yesterday stood by the comment.

"The objective evidence in the case spoke for itself,'' he said.

The pair and their housemates made headlines late last year when they were evicted from their William Street address for allegedly terrorising the neighbourhood.

But Mr Rayner and Mr Jacobsen dismissed the claims, attributing the out-of-control behaviour at their previous address to another gang who they had since cut ties with.

"We would have our parties and that but they were never violent and the music was always turned down by 11pm ... then these other guys started turning up and you can't tell them to go,'' Mr Jacobsen said.

And Mr Jacobsen claimed they enjoyed a good relationship with their new neighbours.

"We haven't had any dramas at all ... we get on with everyone and no one has a problem.

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