19yo in court for bag snatch

ON A night out with the lads in Ballina, William Sproule thought it would be a good idea to snatch a handbag and sprint off down the street.

What the teen didn’t take into account was his speedy arrest and the wrath of his angry father, who was called to the Ballina police station.

Sproule, 19, of Evans Head, pleaded guilty in the Ballina Local Court to one count of larceny after he snatched the handbag from the ground where his victim, LisaDavey, had put it after she, her brother and a male friend were accosted by a group of youths. The bag held $1000 in cash that was not touched by Sproule.

The theft took place at 3.15am on April 10 after the three victims left the Ballina Beach Hut.

Police facts stated the trio was approached by a group of 10 young men who attacked the two men accompanying Ms Davey.

When Ms Davey put her handbag on the ground to help her brother and friend, who were being assaulted, Sproule picked up the bag and ran off along River Street.

Sproule ran behind a fence at the Banana Coast Credit Union. The bag and its contents were recovered in Winton Lane and police quickly arrested Sproule.

Sproule’s lawyer, Gemunu Kumarasinhe, called it ‘a complete moment of foolishness’ fuelled by alcohol and opportunism.

Mr Kumarasinhe said his client had been out drinking with mates at an 18th birthday celebration when he took the bag, but ‘not one red cent was taken from the bag’.

He said the police were called and Sproule’s father came down to the police station.

“His father demanded the most stringent bail conditions be imposed on his son,” Mr Kumarasinhe said.

“His parents are here at the court today and have further punished him, grounded him.”

Magistrate Kim Pogson said Sproule had two problems: he could not handle alcohol and ‘you seem to gravitate toward idiots’.

He briefly mentioned a previous offensive behaviour matter where Sproule was fined $300 that also involved alcohol ‘and again a bunch of dopes’, saying that Sproule’s behaviour was no better.

He convicted Sproule of the larceny offence and placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond, adding: “Don’t go near those fools again.”

A co-accused, Jayden Flynn, 19, of Ballina, will appear in court on August 27 charged with affray;assault causing bodily harm; and assault on a man on April 10.

His defence lawyer, Amy Barker, indicated her client would likely plead guilty to the assault matter if the other two charges are withdrawn.

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