September 6, 2012
A 19-year-old charged with a string of offences, including breaking into the Proston Bowls Club and the theft of a rifle and ammunition from a Kingaroy residence, was sentenced to six months’ jail when he appeared in Kingaroy Magistrates’ Court today.
Scott Anthony Owens pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including breaches of the Weapons Act and the Explosives Act.
Magistrate Mark Bucknall noted that Owens had already served 57 days in custody and set a release date of today, which meant he was immediately released from custody on parole.
The break-in occurred at the Proston Bowls Club sometime between December 10 and December 14 last year. Four six packs of Bundaberg Rum & Cola, three six-packs of mid-strength beer, a bottle of McAllister scotch, and half-full bottles of scotch and bourbon were stolen by Owens and an accomplice who broke in via a toilet window.
On May 23 this year, Owens broke into a house in Fairview Drive, Kingaroy, and stole keys. He then removed louvres from a side window of the garage, and used the keys to open a gun safe. He removed a .22 calibre rifle and ammunition, and left the keys behind.
Police Prosecutor Nick Nitschke said another person had also been charged in relation to this incident.
Owens admitted selling the weapon to a third party and that the weapon was fired after they had been drinking as a test at an address on the outskirts of Nanango.
He also admitted breaking into a house in Burnett Street, Kingaroy, on July 8, and stealing a 50 inch plasma TV, Xbox and computer games while the homeowner was at Kingaroy Hospital with a sick child.
A subsequent search of a property in Belle Street, Kingaroy, by police located the stolen property as well as a small quantity of cannabis.
Kingaroy Probation and Parole Reporting Officer Lauren Mangan told the court Owens’ response to a previous probation order was unsatisfactory. He had failed to report on almost 20 occasions and had failed to notify a change of address.
Mr Mark Werner, for Owens, said his client had ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome as well as psychological and literacy difficulties. He was on a disability pension and had been in care since he was three years old.
He said Owens’ involvement in the offences was “patchy”. The other person charged over the theft of the rifle was the son of the owner who had basically said “my Dad has a gun, let’s sell it …” He stole the rifle because he had a debt to pay.
Sentencing Owens, Mr Bucknall told him he seemed to display a “lack of insight” into the impact these types of offences have on the community.
“One of the complainants had a sick child at the hospital,” he said.
“Try to imagine how they felt. On top of a sick child, their sense of security had been impinged.”
Mr Bucknall said this incident would have caused the family emotional turmoil and possibly still does.
“If you keep on going the way you are going, you can look forward to lengthy periods of incarceration,” he said.
As he had contravened a previous probation order, Owens was also re-sentenced on former charges and sentenced to four months’ jail, suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay $205 re-imbursement to Proston Bowls Club.