Teen wants to start afresh after stint in the big house

A TEEN who stole a set of keys from a gym locker room and used the car to go on a crime spree has escaped serving more time behind bars.

Leigh David Slegers, 19, pleaded guilty on Friday in Ipswich District Court to a three offences committed between November 16 and 19, 2014 at Brassall and Booval.

Those offences included unlawful use of a motor vehicle along with two counts of break and enter.

Crown prosecutor Clare O'Connor told the court Slegers has a criminal history littered with burglary, break and enter, wilful damage and fraud offences.

She said Slegers was serving a suspended sentence, a community-based order and was also on parole for other matters when he committed the offences.

"Slegers and an unknown accomplice went to a gym in Brassall and stole a set of keys from a locker and the vehicle which was parked in the car park," she said.

"The vehicle was then used in the commission of two offences.

"The OPSM at Booval had a brick thrown through its front window and about $1000 worth of sunglasses stolen.

"About an hour later a brick was thrown through the window of the Walloon Hotel and about $900 in alcohol was taken."

Ms O'Connor said Slegers was captured after DNA left at the scene linked him to the crimes.

She said the damage bill to the businesses was $4500 and $500 respectively.

"There was a level of sophistication to these offences and they were also committed at night which is an aggravating factor," she said.

"Slegers also made the effort to try and disguise his face with his t-shirt when committing the offences.

"He also committed the offences less than two weeks after being placed on parole for unrelated offences."

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said Slegers had grown up a lot since serving time in an adult jail.

He said his mother had moved to Bundaberg where the two planned to start afresh - away from the temptations in Ipswich.

"He says he had a bad addiction to ice at the time of offending," he said.

"He says being around other adult prisoners has given him an insight to where his life was heading.

"He says he is sick of being in trouble and wants to become a productive member of the community."

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren sentenced Slegers to three months behind bars wholly suspended for three months.

He said he had to take into account the fact Slegers had served a full 15 month sentence in prison for unrelated matters.

Judge Horneman-Wren noted that sentence had already expired and he was being held in custody until the outcome of these proceedings..



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