Drugs downward spiral: From disability support work to crime
A NIGHT of crime trying to access pay stations at a car wash and laundromat was part of a downward spiral for a former disability support worker.
Zachary Jon Delaware, 28, pleaded guilty on July 28 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of wilful damage, stealing, disqualified driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, possess a restricted drug and unlawful possession of keys.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Janes said a car wash employee arrived at work on August 18, 2019, and found several attempts had been made to access money machines by offenders using a grinder.
He said a photograph supplied by a witness showed Delaware driving a car linked to the incident.
Sgt Janes said police then searched a Kallangur residence and found CCTV footage which showed the car with Delaware and two associates running from the car wash.
He said Delaware was the getaway driver and look out.
The next offence to take place that night was at the 24-hour Snap Laundromat at Paddington, and involved offenders breaking into a machine, stealing $1200 and causing $5000 damage to the machine.
Sgt Janes said the CCTV footage found at the previous address showed the defendant getting out of a car at 7.43am wearing the same clothes featured in CCTV from the laundromat.
He said Delaware’s associate exited the vehicle and took the grinder out of the boot.
Sgt Janes said police intercepted Delaware driving the next day at 11.35am and discovered he had been disqualified from driving for two years in the Pine Rivers court on July 22, 2019, and the registration of the grey Mazda sedan had expired 30 days prior.
He said Delaware told police he was taking a friend to a counselling appointment.
Sgt Janes said weeks later, police came across Delaware walking along a street in the Brisbane region at 5.05am on October 5 and as police approached Delaware, he changed direction and jogged down a driveway.
He said police drove up to him and told him to stop.
Sgt Janes said Delaware told police he had been drinking at a tavern and watching a tribute concert, and admitted to knowing he was wanted on a warrant and was trying to avoid police.
He said a search revealed Delaware had two pills of a restricted drug (Viagra) on him which he told police belonged to his grandfather.
Police had found Delaware in possession of master keys for a Chermside construction site on August 3, 2019, which he claimed he found at service station before changing his story to finding them at Chermside shops.
Sgt Janes said Delaware handed himself into police at the North Rockhampton Police Station on July 27, 2020.
Defence lawyer Rowan King said the offences last year took place while Delaware was mentally unwell, but had no official diagnosis, only an explanation that a relationship breakdown occurred and Delaware turned to any drug he could get his hands on, leading to his life spiralling downward.
He said prior to this, Delaware had worked at the Endeavour Foundation.
Mr King said since the offending, Delaware had regained family support and moved back to Rockhampton to live with his sister and father.
He said Delaware’s father told him he had seen changes in his son.
Mr King said Delaware wasn’t ‘ready to face the music’ over his criminal activity until he presented himself to police on July 27.
Magistrate Jeff Clarke said for a support worker with the Endeavour Foundation, which was “really important work in the community”, then to “wind up doing what (Delaware) were doing with those other people” were “two very different things” and showed it was out of Delaware’s character.
Mr Clarke sentenced Delaware to 12 months probation, ordered him to pay $3100 compensation, disqualified him from driving for a further two years and pay fines of $900.
No criminal convictions were recorded, but traffic convictions were recorded.