Man jailed for city crime spree

A MAN who went on a half-hour crime spree through the Bundaberg central business district was sentenced to 12 months in prison yesterday.

Matthew James Irvine, 30, appeared in handcuffs and a prison-issue brown tracksuit as he faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court charged with a string of offences including sexual and common assault, and wilful damage, relating to a series of incidents on October 2.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Robyn Shapcott said Irvine unlawfully entered a motor vehicle, grabbed a woman’s bottom, stole cheque books from a cafe and ate a vanilla slice from a Bourbong Street bakery before taking three more.

“At the time of being arrested he was in possession of the (slices),” she said.

“They were damaged during the defendant’s arrest and unable to be returned.”

The court was told he also shattered a business’s window and tried to get into a couple of vehicles that were stopped in congested traffic in the CBD.

Sgt Shapcott said Irvine, who was charged with common assault after he punched a man in the face during the rampage, had a “fairly prolific” criminal history.

“He’s received the full range of what the court can offer ... in terms of fines right through to terms of imprisonment,” Sgt Shapcott said.

Defence lawyer Nick Larter said the commercial fisher, who had spent more than 60 days in jail since the offence took place, had a job he could go to on January 1.

He asked Magistrate Neil Lavaring to release him on parole yesterday, so his client could take work when the scallop season opened.

Mr Larter said his client also had a problem with alcohol.

The court was told it was not an offending period over weeks or days, but over a 35-minute period between 3.10pm and 3.45pm.

Mr Lavaring said he took the defendant’s plea of guilt into account, along with the time he had already spent in jail.

“Your history has most offences on it already, of a like nature. The appropriate penalty is a term of imprisonment,” he told Irvine.

The Magistrate sentenced the defendant to 12 months in prison, with a parole release date of February 2.

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