Marc Stapelberg

Group in court for night-time gallop

WHEN a group of friends decided to bust their boredom by breaking into the Warwick TAFE last month, it wasn't money or valuables on their minds - they were there to ride.

A member of the group was a jackaroo student at the campus and led his crew to where the keys for the equine centre were kept.

The group then bridled and saddled two horses and rode the animals around in the dark.

A community member noticed the group riding at 7.50pm and called police. When officers arrived and patrolled the campus on foot, the group fled.

One of the offenders was a now-pregnant Kandace Lee Surch.

The court heard the 18-year-old, who has a two-year-old child, went along with the idea to ride the horses in the dark.

Surch told police one of the other offenders told her they could ride the horses because he owned them but the Warwick woman admitted she knew that was a lie.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey quizzed Surch, who has a full page of criminal history, on her decision to move to Warwick from the Sunshine Coast five months ago.

"What, were you in trouble there and now you're bringing your crap here?" he asked.

The Warwick woman denied that was the case and said she moved to be closer to family.

The teenager pleaded guilty to two break and enters, two charges of unlawfully using stock and one of stealing.

The Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday heard the stealing charge related to Surch stealing $35 from her grandmother.

Surch stole the money when her grandmother declined to give her the money.

Defence lawyer Phillip Crook told the court his client intended to start paying her grandmother back when she was paid next.

Mr Manthey placed Surch on probation for 18 months, the heftiest penalty given to any member of the group, taking into consideration her criminal history.

The court heard the other offenders have received probations periods of up to 12 months for their involvement in the break-in.



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