Spoon robber back in court again, guilty of new crimes
A WHITSUNDAY crook who once robbed a taxi driver while wielding a spoon has been convicted of new offences in a Mackay court.
Andrew John Cassells' latest spate of offending came in the midst of an argument between Cassells and his then-partner.
A drunken scuffle at a Jubilee Pocket home saw Cassells, 39, pin a woman, age 47, with the handle of an axe on April 4.
However, defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan emphasised Cassells had been defending himself at the time, after the woman first tried to attack her client with the handle.
Cassells fronted the District Court in Mackay on October 24, pleading guilty to unlawful assault (downgraded from a choking charge), wilful damage and the aggravated beach of a domestic violence order.
Crown prosecutor SJ Dickson detailed Cassells' criminal record - which includes the bizarre spoon robbery and robbing a liquor store with a screwdriver.
"It relates to the defendant, as a 22-year-old, robbing a taxi driver of his wallet. The defendant was armed with a spoon, which he pretended to be a knife," he exclaimed.
Mr Dickson also provided the facts of the case, and said Cassells had caused an abrasion to the complainant's neck while holding her with the handle from behind.
The woman, who'd been dating Cassells for around six months, had been unable to work for a couple of days, the court was told.
Mr Dickson said the wilful damage involved Cassells using the axe handle to smash items on a bench in the home, including his partner's mobile phone.
In defence, Ms Hartigan submitted Cassells had been defending himself, but she conceded he should have left the home when the argument escalated.
Ms Hartigan said the relationship had been volatile and the offences before the court were influenced by her client's drinking.
The barrister also pointed out Cassells' rough childhood.
Judge Anthony Rafter sentenced Cassells to an overarching 18 month jail term, with immediate release on parole considering 202 days served before sentence.