'Institutionalised' prisoner's $1 million life behind bars
AN "institutionalised" criminal hooked on heroin since he was aged 13 has cost about $1 million to keep behind bars, a court heard.
Roger Michael George Doyle was last sentenced to six years' imprisonment in 2013 after he stole $290,000 in 26 burglaries he committed with his former partner to fuel their drug habit.
He appeared before the Maroochydore District Court today, aged 35 and charged with a string of property offences across the Sunshine Coast and one in Brisbane, committed soon after he was released on parole.
The court heard on January 21 last year, Doyle and two co-accused entered a Nambour home and stole keys, a bag and its contents.
The same day, Doyle was a passenger in a stolen car alongside a 17-year-old and co-accused driver.
The court heard the trio drove to a Mooloolah Valley supermarket and attempted to break in. Shortly after, they smashed a window at Liquorland, Sippy Downs.
They then drove off, crashed into a tree and fled before the dog squad found them in nearby bushland.
Doyle pleaded guilty on Monday to the Nambour burglary, one in Brisbane, the two attempted burglaries and the unlawful use of a motor vehicle
The court heard between the ages of 13 and 35, Doyle had received 20 years' worth of prison orders and spent 15 of those in actual custody.
The court heard Doyle was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in 2007 for property-related offences, and had spent most of that time to date time in custody.
"It's extraordinary, the hold of drugs," Judge David Reid said in response.
"That's staggering isn't it? A million dollars nearly, the cost of jail in that time."
Defence lawyer Nathan Turner told the court Doyle was a "street kid" from age 11 after he left home to escape a "violent, alcoholic" stepfather.
Mr Turner said the abuse continued while Doyle served time in a juvenile prison, which had been the subject of numerous complaints.
He said this included a compensation claim Doyle made after he had been locked in an "isolation dungeon" for three weeks straight.
He said Doyle recalled numerous occasions that he had to "fight off screws", which referred to prison officers, but considered it a "comfort" to have a roof over his head and three meals a day.
Doyle said he hoped to "set a good example" for his four teenage children while in prison and upon release.
Judge Reid said it was "sad" to deal with a sentence such as Doyle's once he had read his criminal history with an understanding of his time in prison and family background.
He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment with parole eligibility from October 1 this year.
Judge Reid suggested Doyle focus on a job and stable accommodation to help him "cope with life" upon release.