Night on the booze led to 'stupid mistake' at Ballina club
HE broke into a local club when his group ran out of drinks.
But a court has heard 22-year-old Jake Parke had turned over a new leaf since the incident.
When the 22-year-old Meerschaum Vale man faced Ballina Local Court on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to a single charge of break-and-enter and stealing.
The court heard Parke had been drinking with friends outside the Ballina Angling Club about 10pm on June 15 this year when they ran out of alcohol, and he opted for a refill from the closed club.
Parke was one of four people seen on CCTV outside the club, but was the only one to enter it.
He gained entry through a closed, but unlocked, window and took $200 worth of alcohol from the fridge.
Parke, unemployed at the time of the offence, had since secured work with a family member, the court heard.
Magistrate Karen Stafford said Parke had "a lengthy record for someone so young”, but defence solicitor William Roberts said his client "was a different person” compared to previous dealings with him.
Mr Roberts said Parke, whose criminal history includes robbery in company, was last released from custody in April, 2017 and had not committed any other offences until the June incident.
Mr Roberts said the offence was "unplanned”, was a "stupid mistake” and client had "considerable remorse”.
Ms Stafford stressed to Parke the offence carries up to 14 years' prison in the higher courts and said it was concerning the offence was committed in the company of others.
But she agreed Parke had taken considerable steps to change his life since the incident.
She convicted him and gave him a two year community corrections order.
She also ordered Parke to pay $200 compensation to the club.