Matthew Joseph Ellerton.
Matthew Joseph Ellerton. Facebook

'Bizarre': Man, teen break into coal terminal to smoke weed

A PECULIAR act saw a 39-year-old Gladstone man break into Barney Point Coal Terminal and smoke marijuana, while accompanied by a juvenile.

Gladstone Magistrates Court heard Matthew Joseph Ellerton, 39, was there when the young person used bolt cutters to gain access to the site in the early hours of December 14.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai said the pair then cut the lock on a demountable building and helped themselves to soft drink, reflective vests and hard hats.

They sat in the building long enough to smoke "two or three cones".

The hard hats were later found discarded on a railway.

Snr Const Selvadurai said the juvenile was identified by a fingerprint left at the site and, when spoken to, named Ellerton as his co-offender.

The two were also seen on CCTV footage at the coal terminal, with Ellerton eventually found in possession of the T-shirt he wore on the night.

He told police he was extremely drunk at the time of the break-in and could barely remember it.

Ellerton pleaded guilty in court to break and enter, possessing marijuana, trespassing and wilful damage.

Lawyer Matt Heelan said Ellerton had no real explanation for the "bizarre" behaviour.

He said it was out of character for his client, who "spiralled out of control" after losing his job.

Magistrate Melanie Ho said she was concerned that a man, who was 39-years-old, could be so led astray by a juvenile.

She fined Ellerton $500 and ordered him to pay $29 for the broken fence.



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