Drug abuse fuels string of break-ins
THOUGH only a young man, Liam Norman Gene Byers has acquired a long history of anti-social offending.
However, his lawyers said he could get his life on the right track if drugs were eliminated from his routine.
Byers appeared in Murgon Magistrates Court charged with 20 offences, including break and enter, using a weapon to threaten, stealing, public nuisance and trespassing. The court was told the offences stretched back to late last year.
Prosecutor Pepe Gangemi said they included a December 1 incident when Byers broke into a home and stole an iPhone charger.
He later fled the home by running through nearby properties. When a 71-year- old man called out to stop Byers, the court was told he held up a stolen tool and threatened to cut the man.
A few weeks later he entered the Cherbourg Community Hospital and started rifling through drawers looking for cigarettes.
Again, when Byers was disturbed by staff he fled the scene, slapping a nurse on the bottom on his way out.
Byers' lawyer Margaret Crowther said her client started sniffing petrol at a young age and evolved to harder drugs.
"My client had moved around the community from place to place, effectively couch surfing, and it's been hard to connect him with support services,” she said.
Byers had spent the previous 44 days in custody waiting for his matters to be dealt with and Mrs Crowther said this had given him time to think.
"If he stays off substances, he won't be breaking into places to support that,” she said.
Magistrate Louisa Pink sentenced Byers to 42 days in jail, which he had already served, and a six-month probation that will require Byers to seek treatment for his drug addiction.