A Warwick man pleaded guilty to public nuisance and wilful damage after a drunken incident in May.
A Warwick man pleaded guilty to public nuisance and wilful damage after a drunken incident in May. Bev Lacey

Cheap wine drives shirtless drunk man to make big mistake

A FRIGHTENED elderly woman thought two drunk people were fighting outside her Fitzroy St home after a flurry of banging on her doors and windows, when really it was just one drunk Warwick man with a case of mistaken location.

Warwick Magistrates Court heard this week that Paul Matthew Bates, 37, was found shirtless outside the home one night in May.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan said Bates admitted to drinking three bottles of cheap wine and couldn't remember what had happened.

Bates pleaded guilty to one count each of public nuisance and wilful damage as well as a charge of stealing, which related to bourbon cans he stole in March.

Bates' lawyer, Phil Crook, said his client had thought he was knocking on his stepmother's door that night and was remorseful for his actions, which also resulted in him breaking a gate latch.

The court heard Bates had criminal history from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

"Most of this has been alcohol fuelled - he says he's ready for counselling if your Honour would require more than fines," Mr Crook said.

Mr Crooks said Bates had a "horrific" childhood and history of drug and alcohol use, but had moved to Warwick to be closer to family.

"Where he's staying he's banned by his sister from having alcohol," Mr Crook said.

During sentencing, Magistrate Roger Stark noted Bates had spent three years in prison, but in recent years had been before the courts for less serious matters, such as public nuisance.

"If you don't get some assistance you'll continually get yourself into trouble and ultimately will probably find yourself back in jail," Mr Stark said.

Bates was sentenced to nine months' probation and ordered to pay $158.50 in restitution for the gate latch and bourbon.

- Elyse Wurm



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