Teenager pleads after causing $27k in damages

Hervey Bay courthouse.
Hervey Bay courthouse. Tracey Joynson

A PAIR of teenagers caused more than $27,000 in damage after "keying" 28 vehicles during a vandalism rampage at Wide Bay Motors, the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard.

Kurtis Ray Ward, 19, pleaded guilty to wilful damage and breaching his bail and probation conditions.

Ward was sentenced to nine months in prison with an immediate parole release date for the damage caused.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tracy Wall said that just after midnight on May 30 Ward and another teen were seen running away from Wide Bay Motors.

"They have used keys or similar to cause scratches on 28 vehicles in the lot."

Sgt Wall said when police spoke to Ward in early June he admitted to using a cigarette lighter to scratch the cars but said he only remembered damaging three or four.

The damage caused to the vehicles totalled $27,682.87.

The court heard Ward's partner-in-vandalism had already been sentenced to nine months prison and was ordered to pay half the damages.

Defence lawyer Kade Eames said Ward had struggled academically because he suffered attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Mr Eames said Ward had also recently spent periods of time where he was homeless.

"It was an act of stupidity," Mr Eames said.

"He was caught up with the wrong people and made the wrong decision to damage these vehicles."

Mr Eames said Ward was not drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time the vehicles were damaged.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell slammed the vandalism and Ward's criminal history as "atrocious".

"This is one of the worst acts of vandalism that's come before this court in a long time," Mr Tatnell said.

Ward, who is tall with blonde hair and a slim build, remained quiet and respectful throughout the proceedings.

As well as the prison term, Mr Tatnell also ordered Ward to pay $13, 841.44 in restitution to Wide Bay Motors.

"It's going to take you a long time to pay the $13,000," he said.

Mr Tatnell took time to consider whether he would order an immediate parole release.

He took into account Ward's young age before ordering his release.

Topics:  hervey bay magistraes court

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