Two get jail for nursery burglary
TWO of the four Casino men who burgled the Windara Nursery and Tea Gardens have been jailed for 12 months while their two co-offenders received suspended jail sentences.
Owen Morris, 21, and Kurtis Wilson, 21, were jailed because they had been on bonds for previous offences at the time.
Co-offenders Jayden Gill, 24, and Jason Carroll, 20, each received a 22-month sentence with a non-parole of 12 months immediately suspended, with Judge James Black placing them on good behaviour bonds.
Morris and Wilson also received a 22-month sentence but were ordered to serve the 12-month non-parole period, with Morris already in jail on an unrelated matter.
All four pleaded guilty in Lismore District Court to break, enter and stealing in company after they raided the Sexton Road nursery at 2am on November 20, 2008, to steal three computers, a printer, a doughnut maker, laminator, first aid kit, hedge trimmer, a carton of soft drinks, and a video player.
The four wore plastic gloves and used an angle grinder to force open a small floor-mounted safe and steal $1487 from the nursery, which is set up as a business to help people with intellectual disabilities.
Only Carroll gave evidence and in cross-examination by his defence lawyer, Tracey Randall, said he 'felt really bad and distraught about what happened'. After giving police limited information he had returned to detail his full involvement in the crime.
“I don't know why we did it,” he said.
Ms Randall described it as an opportunistic offence without detailed planning.
Gill's lawyer, Ian Mackay, detailed his client's alcohol abuse, revealing that while working as a jackeroo in Far North Queensland his excessive drinking habits caused kidney and liver failure with months spent in hospital.
Lawyer for Wilson, Steve Bolt, said his client had one child and his partner was pregnant again. Wilson had problems with cannabis and undergone detox but after abstaining for three months had relapsed because of pressure of the court matters.
Lawyer Hugh van Dugteren, for Morris, said his client was on conditional liberty at the time of the offence and been in jail since February for the breach.
“It was intoxicated planning and execution,” Mr van Dugteren said.
Judge Black said he would discount the sentences because of their guilty pleas but his sentencing took into account Morris and Wilson having been on 'conditional liberty' at the time.
He said a message must be sent to deter people from such attacks on commercial businesses that also caused stress to workers.