The Quest Hotel on Macalister Street in Mackay's CBD.
The Quest Hotel on Macalister Street in Mackay's CBD.

'Drunk and high' man caused $1.5m Mackay hotel trashing

A BOWEN father had been trying to escape a "threatening man" when he caused a $1.5 million in damage to a Mackay hotel.

Jay Health Odell Towler, 27, had taken the lift to the third floor of Quest Mackay in search of a party on New Year's Eve 2018.

But he was told to leave. Drunk, and high on ice and marijuana, Towler turned on the fire hydrants on levels one, two and three on his way out, causing significant damage to the Macalister Street building.

The incident was captured by CCTV cameras.

The bill totalled $1,545,994, with $495,148 of that property damage and the remainder financial loss.

Mackay District Court heard 14 rooms on the first floor were completely "uplifted", including damage to the carpets, televisions and fridges.

Crown legal officer Ashleigh Moss said part or all of the carpets in 28 rooms on levels two and three also had to be replaced.

"He thought he was being chased by a threatening man," defence barrister Scott McLennan said.

"He didn't foresee the scale of the damage that he ultimately caused.

"It wasn't premeditated."

Mr McLennan said Towler was "remorseful and shameful" about his offending.

The court heard he has no way of paying restitution.

"The value represented by the economic loss was only a loss to that business, the business would have gone elsewhere to the other hotels in Mackay," Mr McLennan said.

"So the economic loss's value hasn't been lost entirely."

Towler pleaded guilty to wilful damage and another charge.

Judge Paul Smith accepted Towler, who has spent 202 days in pre-sentence custody, was remorseful and ashamed of his actions.

Towler was jailed for three years and because he was on parole at the time was granted a parole eligibility date of July 10 this year.


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