FRESH-FACED OFFENDERS: Four Bundy teen crimes exposed
WHILE the Bundaberg crime rate for 18-20 year-olds has not necessarily increased over the years, police urge the region's youth to consider the consequences for their actions.
Senior Constable Brittany Duncan said public nuisance or liquor offences and assaults were the typically the types of crimes Bundaberg police have to deal with regularly for this demographic.
"A criminal record stays with you forever, it is not something that disappears after a few years of good behaviour," she said.
"The decisions you make now can hinder the rest of your life, such as job prospects, the ability to travel overseas and volunteering in a community group."
From assaults, to stealing and lying in the face of the law, here are four teen crime cases which appeared in Bundaberg's court since July last year:
A COURT has heard how a Chilean man had to leave Australia because he was fearful of his safety after being attacked in Bundaberg's CBD.
The man, as well as his friend, were attacked while walking along Quay St in October last year.
Jacob Thomas Sammon, 19, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to four offences including two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm in company, common assault and wilful damage.
Legal officer instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Luke Smoothy told the court Sammon and his two co-offenders were walking in the opposite direction of the victims.
The court heard the trio were antagonistic towards the two Chilean men and asked them if they wanted a fight.
Mr Smoothy said the victims tried to de-escalate the situation but were slapped, punched and kicked by Sammon and the two other men he was with.
The offenders were caught by police soon after.
He said one of the victims felt insecure and left the country after the attack.
Sammon's barrister Nick Larter told the court his client left home between the age of 14 and 15 after his relationship with his mother strained.
Mr Larter said Sammon's relationship with his mother had since been mended.
He said Sammon intended to move to Mackay in the next year to take up work opportunities.
Judge Jennifer Rosengren warned Sammon that if he offended again, he would end up in jail.
Sammon received a head sentence of six months imprisonment with immediate parole.
He was also ordered to complete two years of probation.
Convictions were recorded for all offences.
IT was the sort of crime spree you'd expect to see in the movies - stealing a luxury brand watch, an attempted armed robbery and evading the police.
Now, a teenager is behind bars after he used a wooden axe handle to hit a woman at an ATM.
Jesse Leigh Vernon-Ware, 19, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to attempted armed robbery in company and attempted armed robbery in company with personal violence.
He also pleaded guilty to a further 10 offences which included driving while disqualified and evading police.
The court hear Vernon-Ware and a co-accused confronted two victims at an ATM vestibule at 8pm on June 27.
Vernon-Ware, armed with a wooden axe handle, and the co-accused cornered the victims.
He then aggressively brandished the axe handle at the pair before hitting the female victim in the knee and twice on the hand - causing swelling and bruising.
The attack stopped when his co-accused noticed CCTV cameras in the vestibule.
About an hour later, Vernon-Ware was seen driving again before evading police.
He was then found at a service station and arrested.
Vernon-Ware's crime spree began on June 15 when he broke into the Tomato Backpackers Hostel and stole a packet of cigarettes.
Later, he returned and stole a number of personal items including a Cartier watch, cash, phones and ID documents.
He was later arrested and found in possession of marijuana.
Crown prosecutor Erin Kelly told the court Vernon-Ware was not deemed as suitable for community-based orders due to breaches in the past.
Vernon-Ware's barrister Callan Cassidy told the court his client had a "deprived and disadvantaged" childhood.
He said Vernon-Ware's parents were both drug users and his mother died at a young age.
Mr Cassidy said Vernon-Ware then became homeless when his father was sent to jail, which resulted in him turning to his offending peer group and drug use.
Mr Cassidy said his client had "considerable insight" to his underlying issues and planned to move away from Bundaberg when released from jail.
Judge Tony Moynihan took into account the trauma Vernon-Ware had suffered in his young life as well as his plea of guilty and accepted it came at an early opportunity.
Vernon-Ware received a head sentence of three years imprisonment with a parole release after serving nine months.
108 days of pre-sentence custody was declared as time already served.
He also received a number of licence disqualifications for driving while disqualified by court and evading police.
Convictions were recorded.
ZACHARY Rose-Kello used a sledgehammer and grinder to break into a room where firearms were being stored.
He then broke his way into a safe and made off with 13 firearms and ammunition.
In September last year, he walked from Bundaberg District Court on parole after narrowly avoiding jail time.
Of the three handguns, nine rifles and a shotgun that were stolen, two of the handguns have not been recovered.
Judge William Everson heard the handguns had been sold, determining it safe to believe they had been sold to criminal elements.
Judge Everson said the charges were serious enough as it was, but "the difference is, what he sold was used to shoot someone".
Defence barrister Callan Cassidy made attempts to improve the image of Rose-Kello by mentioning his work as a tree lopper, Year 12 completion, sporting achievements and family in the gallery, but was stopped by the judge.
"We all did a lot of sport at school, so what?" he said.
Judge Everson regarded Rose-Kello's admissions to police and the naming of a co-offender as significant mitigating factors in determining his sentence.
While he said the event clearly involved a degree of premeditation, it was very lucky Rose-Kello was "young and stupid" at the time of the offending as he had a chance to improve himself, adding if he were a few years older there wouldn't have been room for leniency.
Due to a lack of criminal history, Judge Everson sentenced Rose-Kello to concurrent prison sentences, the longest of which was three years, but granted him parole with a stern message to straighten out his life.
An audible sigh of relief was heard from the more than a dozen supporters in the gallery when it was determined he would not have to serve time.
"Get a job, settle down and be a law-abiding citizen," Judge Everson said
A BUNDABERG teenager and first-time offender has learnt the hard way that lying in the face of the law will never end well after he was slapped with more than $4500 in fines.
Joshua Dean Fuller, 19, a young father of two, was heard to have made a false declaration to take the blame for a friend who had failed to stop for police.
It was heard Fuller swore an affidavit saying he was the driver of a blue Holden Rodeo and had failed to stop when intercepted by police.
"... I take full responsibility for my actions," the affidavit had said.
But this was not the case. With police having identified the driver as another man.
"Making this false declaration really does exacerbate the offending," Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court.
Fuller on a separate date was heard to have asked to "borrow" a friend's scooter for two hours at Hinkler Central.
But instead of returning the scooter, Fuller went to Cash Converters, where he pawned it for $80.
Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said he did this to afford food, as he was homeless at the time.
Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said the charges, which also included a drug driving offence, driving an uninsured and unregistered motorbike, and possessing meth and a stolen watch, were exacerbated by the false declaration.
"It really strikes at the heart of justice," Ms Hartigan said.
She said Fuller was very lucky to not have been charged with perverting the course of justice.
Mr Dwyer said Fuller had "essentially been taken on a ride by his mate" who had used their friendship to his advantage.
"... he stupidly went along (with it)," Mr Dwyer said.
"It (making false declaration) was never going to get the other man off the charge."
Ms Hartigan said she was surprised to see a first-time offender commit such offences.
Fuller was fined more than $4500.
Convictions were recorded for the false declaration charge and driving charges.