Teen's five months of crime

A BRANYAN teenager who committed six booze-fuelled crimes in the past five months has narrowly avoided a stay in jail.

Boaden Jai McMurtrie, 17, committed "a long series of stupid alcohol-related offences", smashing three cars while drink-driving, punching a man in an unprovoked attack, abusing people on the street and trying to steal from backpackers.

He faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to six offences, including causing a public nuisance, dangerous driving and driving drunk.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said the trouble began on December 17 when McMurtrie attended a private party, walked past the security guards and punched a man.

"The security guards said there was no evidence of self defence or provocation," Sgt Stevens said.

"The victim suffered significant soft tissue damage but declined to make a formal assault complaint."

On January 7, a taxi driver became so concerned about McMurtrie's behaviour that he dropped him off at the police station when the teen said he would not pay the fare and spoke about going to bash someone.

Sgt Stevens said just four days later, McMurtrie had a crash with several friends in the car while he was driving drunk with a blood alcohol level of .164%.

"The vehicle was a Holden which collided with two four-wheel drive vehicles that were parked in a driveway at Thabeban," Sgt Stevens said.

"A neighbour said she heard the tyres screech loudly, a clunk and a bang, and she saw four people inside the silver car. They all got out and ran away."

On February 18, McMurtrie was found abusing a man in Targo St and earlier this month he was arrested for trying to steal from backpackers.

Lawyer Mary Buchanan said McMurtrie seemed to be a "polite and well-mannered fellow when sober", but that seemed to change when he drank.

"This is obviously a long series of stupid, alcohol-related offences," she said.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts sentenced McMurtrie to 10 months probation for the public nuisance offences, three months jail wholly suspended for 12 months for dangerous driving, and a 12-month licence ban for drink driving.

Topics:  bundaberg, crime, police, teenager



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