FRESH-FACED OFFENDERS: 10 youth crimes exposed
MANY who move through Rockhampton’s court system are quite young – often in their early 20s, if not younger.
And although police data is not sorted by age, more than 2000 offences were committed in Rockhampton in the past three months.
Theft and drug-related charges were the most common, and the majority of cases overall were in the CBD and in built-up areas both sides of the Fitzroy.
The number of recorded crimes since August peaked in September at 699 and offences overwhelmingly occurred close to midnight.
The Morning Bulletin’s regular reporting of court proceedings keeps track of who some of those numbers represent.
From drunk driving to assault and child pornography, here are 10 young offenders from the Rockhampton area recently charged or sentenced in court.
Drunk driver runs over brother
A young drunk driver crashed his car into a house after running over his brother and dragging him five metres.
Jake Dale Douglas McPherson pleaded guilty on October 27 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of drink driving while holding a provisional licence.
Magistrate Jason Schubert, after reading a letter written by McPherson’s brother, said McPherson was lucky he was not charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle because of the claim by his brother that he was dragged five metres during the incident.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Peter Rumford said police were called to a crash with injury at Cawarral at 12.30am on August 16.
He said the informants told police the driver tried to leave the address and tried to run over his brother.
Snr Constable Rumford said when police arrived, McPherson had fled on foot.
He said the defendant’s family were concerned for his welfare.
Police later located McPherson at his brother’s house being treated by Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics.
Snr Constable Rumford said McPherson told police he had drunk eight beers and two shots in four hours at the party where the crash happened.
McPherson’s blood alcohol content reading was .10 and a small amount of marijuana was in his system.
McPherson told the court he had smoked marijuana that morning and knew it was not good for his mental health condition – manic depression.
He submitted a letter to the court from Rockhampton Hospital which stated McPherson had attended the hospital after the crash and he had displayed symptoms which could have been a psychosis episode.
The letter from McPherson’s brother stated the defendant was “not in his head” at the time of the incident.
McPherson admitted the marijuana may have contributed to the psychosis.
Mr Schubert said McPherson had been convicted on July 10 to driving while having liquor in the car.
He ordered McPherson to six months probation and disqualified him from driving for five months. A traffic conviction was recorded.
‘Opportunistic’ assault in love triangle
An opportunistic assault on someone the defendant had taken in and helped out financially was the result of the victim sleeping with the defendant’s partner.
Seth Backo, 18, pleaded guilty to one count of common assault in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on October 30.
Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said the assault took place on June 26 and there was history between the pair.
“It was opportunistic,” he said.
Defence lawyer Samantha Legrady said the victim was someone who Backo had housed and fed.
She said Backo found out the victim had been with Backo’s girlfriend, who Backo was still in a relationship with.
Backo was ordered to six months probation and no conviction was recorded.
Fatigue and alcohol don’t mix
That was the harsh lesson for one young motorist who crashed into three parked cars one morning.
Jaylon Wayne Messer, 20, pleaded guilty on November 5 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of drink driving, driving without due care and attention, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash and provide particulars.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rumford said police were called to a traffic crash on Victoria Parade about 5.35am on August 29 where a Holden Commodore had crashed into three parked vehicles.
He said witnesses told police the driver fled on foot.
Snr Constable Rumford said police located the defendant’s Queensland drivers licence in one of the vehicles and located the defendant nearby.
Messer had a blood-alcohol content reading of .054.
He told police he thought fatigue and alcohol could have caused him to fall asleep momentarily and crash.
Defence lawyer Pierre Lammersdorf said Messer had to fend for himself since 16 years old and had been doing a traineeship with a Brisbane construction firm before taking time off to recover from a knee reconstruction.
Messer was disqualified from driving for three months and fined $1200. Traffic convictions were recorded.
A 19-year-old man seen by police to overtake cars at excessive speeds had an explosive stash with him.
Jackson Barry Meikle pleaded guilty on September 21 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of possessing fireworks and two of possessing dangerous drugs.
Meikle had 47.69g of marijuana, three MDMA pills and two Roman candles (fireworks) he claimed he purchased from a guy in Gladstone.
He was intercepted by Mackay police at Kuttabul on August 8 at 4.30pm.
Meikle had appeared nervous after the intercept which led the police to searching the car.
The teen was ordered to drug diversion and a 12 months Good Behaviour Bond with $800 recognisance, plus fined $250 for the fireworks. No convictions were recorded.
Pharmacy and subway robbery
A young man who had only spent seven months out of jail during his adult life attempted an armed robbery of a pharmacy and stole cash from a Subway restaurant.
Timothy Richard Adidi, 21, pleaded guilty on November 3 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of attempted armed robbery and one of enter premise and steal.
He had only been released on parole seven days prior to the offending at Stockland
Rockhampton and claimed he did it for his relative.
Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said Adidi’s eight-page criminal record included 11 appearances for 54 different offences including burglary, property offences, drugs and assault occasioning bodily harm in company.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said his client had only spent six or seven months in the community since September 2017.
He said Adidi claimed he carried out the offences to help his cousin brother Roy Brown who was heavily addicted to drugs.
Adidi entered the Priceline at Stockland Rockhampton at 9am on November 14, 2019.
He placed a plastic bag on the counter and demanded the shop assistant to put money in it.
Adidi then walked behind the counter, rummaged through drawers, pulled a sharpened wooden stick out and pointed it towards the shop assistant.
After she stepped backwards, Adidi continued rummaging and trying to find cash.
When he failed to locate money, he left Priceline and entered Subway on Blanchard St, jumped the unattended counter and stole $180 cash from the till.
Both shops captured Adidi’s offending on CCTV with the Priceline offence played in court.
Adidi was located later that day seated outside the Oxford Hotel in East St having a drink.
Mr Lo Monaco said Adidi had a dysfunctional upbringing being separated from his five siblings when he was two and lived with an aunt for 10 years.
Judge William Everson sentenced Adidi to 3.5 years prison, declared 354 days presentence custody and set parole eligibility for January 15, 2021.
A man who had not taken his depression medication for two days was belligerent towards pizza shop staff and police over a failed delivery.
Jack Rowen Corbett, 22, pleaded guilty on October 28 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of public nuisance.
Police prosecutor Jess King said Dominoes Gracemere received a delivery order at 3.10pm on October 15 to Marc Crescent in Gracemere.
She said a delivery staff member found no one home when they attempted to deliver the order.
Ms King said at 4.40pm the defendant and an associate attended the store, saying they had not received the order.
She said Corbett proceed to berate and swear at staff, calling them “useless pieces of s---” and when confronted by the manager, he continued his tirade towards her, calling her “fat”.
Ms King said this continued for some time with the manager requesting both to leave which they eventually did, however, not before police were called.
She said the pair entered a nearby car which was being driven by a third person and left.
Ms King said police met the pair when they arrived at their home and had a conversation with them.
She said Corbett was belligerent and argumentative with them, denied any wrong doing including calling the manager “fat”, but conceded his language was not appropriate but he felt justified because the delivery driver drove past him as he was standing in the front yard.
Ms King said Corbett told police they were wasting their time.
He was arrested and taken to the watch house, where he continued to be belligerent towards officers.
Defence lawyer Samantha Legrady said Corbett was employed full-time at a sports club and was medicated for depression.
She said he had not taken his medication for two days prior to the incident, but had refilled his prescription since
Magistrate Phillipa Beckinsale said not taking medication went somewhat to explain Corbett’s behaviour.
Corbett was fined $400 and no conviction was recorded.
It was a tip-off to police by one of eight alleged victims of a man charged with rape and other offences that started an investigation into alleged sexual crimes in Rockhampton.
A 20-year-old Gracemere man was arrested in September, charged with one count of rape, unlawful carnal knowledge, possession of child exploitation material, indecent treatment of a child, and using the internet to procure children.
Detective Senior Sergeant Damien Smith alleged the man used Snapchat to groom the victims, who were aged from 12 to 15 years old, all from “the Rockhampton area”.
“It’s possible he may have known some of the victims prior,” he said.
“We have reason to believe there are quite potentially a number of victims out there.
“We had some information coming in for a short period of time, and then one of the victims actually came forward on their own volition, which commenced the operation.”
Snr Sgt Smith said Snapchat was a “popular social media platform of choice” in “creating familiarity” because of its design, allowing videos to be shared only temporarily.
He recommended parents spoke with their children to encourage them to be upfront about the people with whom they spoke online.
He said there was no reason to believe any other person was involved in the alleged offending, which was supposed to have taken place between January 2019 and September 2020.
The alleged offender is due to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on November 18.
Over-sleeping leads to drug bust
An unemployed construction worker was busted with drugs after police were called to evict oversleeping motel patrons.
David Harry Dyer, 22, pleaded guilty on October 28 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of possessing a restricted drug and possessing a pipe used to smoke illicit drugs.
Police prosecutor Jess King said staff at a Cairns motel called police at 12.40pm as Dyer and a male associate were trespassing – having stayed passed the check out time.
She said when police attended, they knocked on the door of the room the two men were staying in, but were unable to raise them.
Ms King said the door was unlocked and police found Dyer and his mate both asleep, with drugs and drug paraphernalia strewn across the room.
She said after waking the men, Dyer’s associate declared ownership of most of the illegal items in the room and Dyer declared ownership of some restricted tablets and a cone piece he had used to smoke marijuana.
Ms King said Dyer told police he had purchased the restricted drugs online.
Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Dyer normally worked in construction but was unemployed due to the COVID-19 downturn.
He said Dyer had aspirations to do university study in the future.
Dyer was fined $600 and no convictions were recorded.
Bistro manager and Learner without supervisor crashes
Not only did a Rockhampton bistro manager drink-drive, he was involved in a crash.
It got worse.
He only held a Learners’ licence and had no supervisor in the car.
Jack Rowan Corbett, 22, pleaded guilty on September 16 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of drink-driving and one of being a Learners’ holder without a supervising driver.
Police prosecutor Jess King said emergency services attended a traffic crash at the corner of Sydney and Victoria Streets, Mackay, at 9.30pm on April 8.
She said Corbett immediately admitted to being at fault in the crash and having consumed alcohol prior to driving.
Corbett had a blood-alcohol content reading of .082.
Defence lawyer Brendon Gimbert said Corbett now had a job as a bistro manager.
He said his client made a poor decision to drive that night after the end of a five-year relationship where he was engaged to his partner, along with losing his job due to COVID-19.
Mr Gimbert said Corbett had support with people willing to take him to and from work.
Corbett was disqualified from driving for three months and fined $550.
Convictions were not recorded.
Carnal knowledge and child porn
A young man was placed on a three-year Good Behaviour Bond and 18 months probation for 25 charges of carnal knowledge and one of producing child porn.
The Central Queensland apprentice, 22, pleaded guilty on August 21 in Rockhampton District Court to the charges.
He cannot be named or identified for legal reasons.
Crown prosecutor Elise Sargent said the defendant was in a romantic relationship with the victim, aged 15 at the time of the offending, for about one year and they started having sex on a weekly basis in the six months leading up to her 16th birthday.
The court heard police found a video on a mobile phone of the pair having sex and the recording was consensual.
Defence barrister Tom Polley said the parents of both the man and the girl knew of the relationship, which was public knowledge for a year prior to police becoming involved.
He said the girl had been sexually activate prior to being in a relationship with his client.
Mr Polley said the pair had known each other for four years before their romantic relationship.
The court heard the girl’s mother had provided a reference letter for the defendant, stating she had known the defendant for years and he was known as someone who would go ‘above and beyond’ to help anyone in need.
The defendant had worked part time while finishing high school prior to undertaking an apprenticeship.
The court heard the girl posted photographs on a social media site which sparked concern about the relationship and an anonymous complaint was made through Crimestoppers.
No convictions were recorded for the offending.