Drunken rampage lands man in court

A DRUNKEN rampage on a Warwick business landed a Bony Mountain man in Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday to face charges of stealing and break and enter.

The Warwick Magistrates Court heard 26-year-old Ernest Ronald Saunders and his co-accused forcefully gained entry to the business overnight on March 25 of this year before causing significant damage.

The police prosecutor said Saunders' co-accused jemmied open the front sliding door of a Grafton St store with a screwdriver before the two entered.

Upon entry the two men were heard to have opened the cigarette case and the till was removed, although they were unable to gain entry to it.

The police prosecutor told the court a lap-top computer and external hard-drive were taken from the scene and have not been recovered.

Saunders told police he was intoxicated at the time, saying he fled the scene shortly after hearing an alarm activated and denied stealing the property.

His fingerprint was later recovered from a soft drink bottle at the scene.

Defence counsel for Saunders said his client was disgusted and ashamed of himself and acknowledged he was “too old to be doing things like that”.

Magistrate Anne Thacker accepted this was Saunders' first appearance for these kinds of offences but said that did not detract from the serious nature of the offences.

“This is serious behaviour and it is not good enough to say you were drunk,” she said.

Magistrate Thacker sentenced Saunders to six months jail for each charge, with immediate parole and ordered him to pay $1200 restitution.

Saunders' co-accused appeared in court to face unrelated charges, including those of being drunk and disorderly, driving while disqualified and public nuisance.

The co-accused cannot be named for legal reasons as he is still to face a long list of charges, including one of sexual assault.

The court heard the man was actively involved in a brawl that occurred in the car park behind the Criterion Hotel, which resulted in glassings.

Defence counsel for the man said there was no indication he was involved in the glassing incident.

The man has been held in custody for the past 45 days and his application for bail was denied by Magistrate Thacker and he was ordered to be remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

Magistrate Thacker did, however, grant a ban application from the Criterion Hotel against the man, prohibiting him from entering during the next six months.

The man will face charges relating to the break and enter at a later date.



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