‘Reoffending mess’: Jail sentence activated for church thief
A NANANGO man, who broke into a Kingaroy church, has been sentenced to 12 months actual jail time after breaching a suspended sentence imposed early this year.
Originally sentenced in Kingaroy District Court in February by Judge Gary Long, Barry Michael Parkes began breaching the conditions of his bail just a month later.
According to the Crown prosecutor, the offences dealt with on this occasion included two indictable offences, namely the wilful damage of a door and stealing of a handbag, and numerous summary offences including trespass, disqualified driving, possessing a small quantity of methamphetamine, and four breached bail conditions.
He pleaded guilty to all charges.
On top of serving 186 days in pre-sentence custody for some of those offences, Parkes was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, which was to be suspended for two years.
On Tuesday August 18, Parkes appeared before Kingaroy District Court once again via video, charged with breaching his suspended sentence.
According to the Crown, the breaching offences started to occur only a month into the order, with the first, a disqualified driving charge issued on March 22, 2020.
The second breach occurred when Parkes broke into St John’s Lutheran Church in Kingaroy and stole several items. The 49-year-old and an accomplice, who can’t be named for legal reasons, used a jimmy tool to open the front door of the church. They then proceeded to steal several items including musical instruments, a laptop and bag, cables, recording equipment, cam recorder, tripod, keys and a donation tin.
The next occasion was on May 20, 2020. During a search warrant, officers located one gram of cannabis seeds, two sets of digital scales, three throwing knives, and 18 rounds of small arms ammunition.
Defence solicitor Catherine Cuthbert said the breaches were ‘really disappointing’ because Parkes has been doing really well prior to his sentence in February.
“He is a man who has a really good work history in a variety of occupations; he’s worked for Queensland rail, he’s worked as an ambulance driver. In recent years he hasn’t worked as much because of a methamphetamine addiction,” Ms Cuthbert said.
“He’s fully aware of the hopelessness of this reoffending mess.”
Judge Nicole Kefford activated the 12 month suspended sentence, starting from Tuesday August 18, with the parole release date set for November 28.
After this date, Judge Kefford said “he would then have 9 months under supervision to hopefully provide some support for rehabilitation, and to establish new habits.”