Thief behind dramatic citizen’s arrest case
A LAWYER for a property offender who was hog tied during a dramatic citizen's arrest used a unique argument to try to shave down the thousands his client owes his victims.
Marley Bruce Staff will be released from jail in two months after pleading guilty to a string of crimes committed between July and December last year, including writing off a stolen ute in a crash on Connors Rd.
The Nebo father, 24, was held down by members of the public and later taken into custody by police on December 7.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard the majority of Staff's offending kicked off just five days after he was released on a parole/probation order and the total amount of restitution owed was $7017.02.
However defence barrister Phil Moore argued the some of the quotes for the items, including a wireless security camera, handbags and perfume, were retail prices with mark-ups.
"It would be my submission that your honour would have the discretion to shave those amounts by 20 or 25 per cent as an estimate of what the mark-up would likely be," Mr Moore said.
Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said one of the most serious of Staff's offending was forcing his way into and stealing four PlayStation consoles and a stereo from Mackay disability service and support organisation Multicap on November 25.
"That is rather despicable conduct by you," Ms Hartigan said.
Five days later, he broke into West Tigers rugby league football club, causing $2257 in damage, and stole jewellery worth about $500.
Staff, who is expecting his second child in March but does not know the exact date, pleaded guilty to 14 charges as well as breaching probation.
The court heard Staff had issues with methylamphetamines, which was labelled the background to his offending, and by November 2018 his drug use was out of control.
Before that time he had limited criminal history.
Ms Hartigan ordered restitution for the full retail prices, but amounts were reduced by half in the shoplifts that involved a co-offender.
As a result, Staff was ordered to pay $5596.48.
He was jailed for 12 months jail, to be suspended after serving two months, and fined $2100.
"Imprisonment is a last resort however I consider it appropriate because of the number of offences committed over a six-month period and in respect to 11 of them you were on probation and you were on parole," Ms Hartigan said.
Once released Staff will remain on probation until September this year.
Convictions were recorded.