Family tragedy triggers Mackay, Rockhampton crime spree
A Mackay man intends to go home to NSW to be near his grandparents following his two-month crime spree detailed in court.
Mitchell Turnbull’s string of charges were so extensive it took more than 30 minutes to decipher the details when he presented to Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The court heard Turnbull was charged with possessing property suspected of being used in commission of a drug offence in Allenstown, Rockhampton on August 4, 2019.
He also had a knife on him, assaulted a police officer and when he was taken to the Rockhampton watch-house he then damaged a blanket, earning himself a charge of wilful damage of police property.
The following month, Turnbull stole fuel from the Gin Gin Puma service station.
Two days later, he stole a Hyundai Getz from Rockhampton Auto Spares on September 6, 2019 and evaded police all while without a licence to drive.
The car was found torched at Depot Hill but the arson charge against Turnbull was dropped in Rockhampton court in June last year.
Three days after the Getz was stolen, Turnbull was charged with trespassing at a Mackay yard on September 9 and six days after that, he stole a Subaru Forester at Erakala.
Prosecutor David Epstein said Turnbull had many vehicle-related offences in NSW and the court heard he also had criminal history in Western Australia.
Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen said Turnbull had a “shocking history” for destroying property.
Solicitor Peter Clark, of Strutynski Law, said his 57-year-old client had “spiralled” into crime during 2019 after his cousin died by suicide.
“He describes being terribly, emotionally impacted by that event,” Mr Clark said.
“[The cousin] had rung the defendant earlier that day.
“My client had not had the opportunity to return the call.
“He blames himself for some extent for (his cousin’s) death.
“He didn’t cope.”
Mr Clark said Turnbull had since been diagnosed with bipolar, was stable with medication and had not reoffended.
He said Turnbull wanted to return to NSW to be near his grandparents.
Mr Aberdeen sentenced Turnbull, who pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, trespassing, wilful damage of police property, stealing, evading police, driving without a licence by court order, assaulting a police officer, possessing a knife in public, and possessing property suspected of having been used in commission of a drug offence, to 18 months prison.
It was suspended immediately with a two year operational period with Turnbull having already served 158 days in prison.