From squatting in a motel at 14 to driving stolen Audi at 18

A young man facing arson charges in the district court was sentenced last week for unlawful use of an Audi and squatting in a Central Queensland hotel five years ago when he was 14.

Now 19, the young man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had spent 186 days in presentence custody when he appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on March 12 where he was sentenced for the Audi and motel matters.

His arson charge also went through the court procedures for the matter to be sent to the district court.

The man pleaded guilty on March 12 to 10 charges including enter premise and damage property, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and seven fail to appear in court offences.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said the defendant was 14 when he left evidence he was living in a room at the Apollo Motel in Biloela on January 29, 2016, with the owners finding damage to a fridge and television along with two broken light bulbs.

He said a cigarette butt located in the room contained the teenager’s DNA.

Stolen Black Audi caught near Bouldercombe
Stolen Black Audi caught near Bouldercombe

Sergeant Stevens said police located the teen on the side of the Burnett Highway at Bouldercombe with a stolen Audi 3 which had a busted tyre on January 15, 2020.

He said members of the public observed the teen examining the tyre and identified the vehicle as stolen.

The teen did not have a driver’s licence.

Sergeant Stevens said the teen told police he had been paid $100 by a friend to “get rid of it (Audi) because it was too hot”.

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client left school in Year 9 and had worked for a family business in Brisbane, however the business had closed and when he returned to Rockhampton, he carried out criminal activity.

Magistrate Jason Schubert said the defendant had a concerning juvenile record which included breaching probation orders.

He gave the teen a head sentence of nine-months prison, declared 186 days in presentence custody with immediate parole.

Mr Schubert granted the teen bail on the arson charge.



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