Redlands’ shocking drug-related offenders of the past year | The Courier Mail
Presiding Magistrate Deborah Vasta at Cleveland Magistrates Court at times likens drug-fuelled offenders’ desperate activities to that of “cockroaches scurrying about in the dark” not as a cruel taunt, but as a graphic description to reflect to them its lowly nature.
It comes as the Redlands battles an ever-pressing advance of hard drugs, especially methamphetamine – or ice.
For the uninformed, the Redlands, graced with its envied natural landscapes and sought-after, friendly suburbs may represent paradise, yet drug abuse and its accompanying crimes thrive.
The casual visitor at the court might baulk at its prevalence.
From offenders driving stolen vehicles with reckless abandon, a late night home invasion by a drugged up horde of “thugs”, an ice-crazed, shotgun-toting arborist’s chilling threat to an off-duty cop or a once successful property owner’s slide into peddling stolen Lego to feed an insatiable lust for ice – we look at some of Cleveland Magistrates Courts’ more disturbing cases of late.
Trent Strange pleaded guilty to multiple weapons offences in Cleveland Magistrates Court after chasing residents with a stolen shotgun in November. Picture: Facebook
TRENT MATTHEW STRANGE, 31
The defendant pointed his shotgun at the officer and said: “What the f*** are you looking at?”
A meth-bingeing arborist who chased multiple residents, including an off-duty police officer, with a stolen shotgun in the delusional belief that they were paedophiles, had been six years’ off drugs when he had a spectacular relapse, the court heard.
Appearing via video link from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre on March 1, Trent Matthew Strange, 31, pleaded guilty to a slew of charges including unlawful possession of weapons Category A, B or M; dangerous conduct with weapon; conduct likely to cause alarm with firearm and possession of dangerous drugs, among others.
The court heard multiple terrified residents ran down Redland Bay Road in Capalaba on November 28 at around 9.30am, jumping over fences and hiding in strangers’ homes with a heavily meth-affected, shotgun-toting Strange in pursuit.
In scenes that Magistrate Deborah Vasta described as “like something out of a movie” Strange sent an off-duty police officer, who happened to be purchasing wood in the area, fleeing.
The defendant, the court heard, pointed his shotgun at the officer and said: “What the f*** are you looking at?”
The court was told Strange had undergone a “significant relapse” after years of sobriety when he “wandered over” from a neighbouring yard sale into a Redland Bay Road property in Capalaba on the day of the attack.
“Erratic”, “aggressive” and uttering nonsensical statements a delusional Strange found a black shotgun in an open safe in the back corner of a licensed firearm owner’s shed with which he terrified the street.
Strange’s defence solicitor Kristy Bell, acknowledging it did not lesson his victims’ terror, noted that the shotgun was not loaded and could not have been fired.
Having served 83 days in pre-sentence custody at the time, Strange was sentenced to 12 months’ prison with immediate parole and three years’ probation.
The defendant was also banned from contacting and of coming within 100 metres of his victims.
Jakob Porima has been jailed for breaking in to a family’s home in the company of four other males while the residents were present. Picture: Facebook
JAKOB PORIMA, 19
“Every night those kids go to bed, what do you think goes through their heads?”
Last month a teenager claimed through his defence solicitor that he was so drug-affected when he forced his way, with four “thug mates”, into an unsuspecting family’s home at night that he couldn’t remember it, despite “terrorising” his victims.
After a father was bowled over by the five men, a mother with her young daughter was so afraid she broke through an upstairs flyscreen to keep her children from the group’s advances.
Appearing in the dock at Cleveland Magistrates Court on February 22 a teary Jakob Porima, 19, pleaded guilty to entering premises with intent, entering premises with intent at night in company, and attempted entering of a dwelling to commit an indictable offence.
The court heard the Capalaba man barged into a house in his suburb about 10pm on June 8 after knocking loudly on a front door.
Unknown to their victims Porima, with four other males, forced their way into the household, bowling over the father who responded to the knock at the door.
The court heard the victim’s “terrified” partner broke out a flyscreen to help her 10 and six-year-old children escape via an upstairs window.
A police prosecutor said although no physical injuries occurred the household, and especially its children, would have been affected by the “mentally traumatic event”.
Porima, who was recently jailed for three months for similar offending and was on parole at the time, was denounced by Magistrate Deborah Vasta for the trauma he and his “thug mates” may have caused the family.
“I don’t have much sympathy for you,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“The community is sick to death of this type of offending.
“They (the family) must have been absolutely terrified.
“Every night those kids go to bed, what do you think goes through their heads?”
Defence solicitor Rhys Foster said his client was significantly affected by drugs at the time of the offences and claimed to not remember much about them.
Porima was sentenced to two years’ jail for his June 8 offence with an August 21 parole date.
Brandyn-Lee Small will spend months in jail for escaping police custody and wilful damage. Picture: Facebook
BRANDYN-LEE SMALL, 21
Smashed body panels and “each and every window” in a “quite controlled” fit of fury with a large crowbar that ended with him standing on the bonnet.
Earlier this month the court heard a 21-year-old man who caused nearly $7,000 in damages when he smashed up a car and who wasted thousands of dollars of public money when a dog squad and police helicopter were activated during an escape, had been addicted to ice since he was 16 years old.
The court heard his meth addiction drove much of his offending.
Described at court as having the temperament of a three-year-old when angry Kingston man Brandyn-Lee Small pleaded guilty to escape by persons in custody and wilful damage when he appeared via video link on March 23.
The court heard Small on October 28 attended the residence of people known to him to discuss the ownership of a motorcycle.
The victims fled their own residence in their heavily damaged vehicle after an “enraged” Small smashed body panels and “each and every window” in a “quite controlled” fit of fury with a large crowbar that ended with him standing on the bonnet.
On October 30 police spotted Small walking towards them at a Capalaba location, questioned him and initiated an arrest.
However Small, exclaiming “f**k this s**t” broke free from officers, the court heard, and led them on an extensive chase which involved a dog squad and police helicopter.
Officers caught up with the defendant on December 1.
Small was sentenced to six months’ jail and ordered to pay his victims $6,870.45 in restitution.
Julie-Anne Remmert, 35, of Logan Central had her bail denied at Cleveland Magistrates Court. Picture: Supplied
JULIE-ANNE REMMERT, 35
“You walked into a court with 9.4 grams of ice … How crazy is that?”
A woman who walked into court with more than 9 grams of meth in her possession while drug-affected was in September assured by a magistrate she would not be getting bail unless she could secure placement at a live-in rehabilitation centre.
A tearful Julie-Anne Remmert, 35, appeared via video link from jail at Cleveland Magistrates Court on September 24 on a string of drug possession charges and had her bail denied for a second time.
The court heard Logan Central woman Remmert had appeared at the court on August 18 carrying 9.41 grams of the drug ice – worth an estimated $2,700 on the street – and was promptly arrested.
Having spent some five weeks in custody at the time of her appearance, Remmert told the court she was desperate to get out since she had dried out.
The court heard the defendant had called four rehabilitation centres but had failed in securing a placement which did little to reassure Magistrate Deborah Vasta.
“You walked into a court with 9.4 grams of ice,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“How crazy is that?
“You have a raging drug addiction as is evidenced by you bringing over 9 grams of it to court.
“I don’t accept that you can’t get into rehab.”
Remmert ultimately received a conviction for her offending at a later date.
Katrina Shipp. Picture: Facebook.
KATRINA SHIPP, 46
“Do you really want to be chained to this drug for the rest of your life?”
Mount Gravatt woman Katrina Shipp was sentenced in Cleveland Magistrates Court to 18 months’ probation and two months’ imprisonment to be served in the community under an intensive corrections order on charges of stealing and multiple drug offences.
The stealing offence related to brake pads worth $87 from Supercheap Auto Cleveland.
On March 28 last year, Shipp placed the goods in a bag and simply walked out of the store to a vehicle, the registration of which was used to identify her.
The drug charges related to an incident on June 22.
The court was told police heard a glass meth pipe break as it was dropped out of a vehicle intercepted at 6.40pm in Bowen Hills and could still see smoke from the drug in the interior.
Officers discovered a broken glass ice pipe, digital scales, clip seal bags and methamphetamine stored in a shoebox in the vehicle driven by Shipp.
Defence solicitor Rhys Foster said his client had been given her first taste of meth in 2016 after the death of her mother and had started offending in 2017.
Having shown the court dramatic images of before and after images of ice users, Magistrate Deborah Vasta said time was of the essence when treating addiction.
“Do you really want to be chained to this drug for the rest of your life?” she asked.
Eugene Bradshaw shows off his bodybuilding efforts. Picture: Facebook.
EUGENE FRANCIS BRADSHAW, 29
“You are someone who wasn’t brought up with violence and yet on a couple of occasions you behaved in a very aggressive and violent manner. And that is what ice does to you.”
In December an enormous bodybuilder who had built up a car cleaning business and had finished all but three subjects of a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy, was given a criminal conviction for defying a probation order after violent offending spurred by an addiction to ice and cocaine.
Dwarfing others at Cleveland Magistrates Court on December 8 Eugene Francis Bradshaw, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of contravene requirement of community based order.
The court heard Bradshaw breached an 18-month probation order he was sentenced to for a common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm in 2018.
Having completed 80 hours of community service as part of the order, the Middle Park man and car cleaning business owner missed appointments prescribed by his probation order and did not engage with domestic violence services, according to a probation officer.
But it was Bradshaw’s propensity for drug-fuelled violence that most concerned Magistrate Deborah Vasta.
“My concern is he is still hiding behind his drug use and I think the drugs were behind his violent behaviour on his last girlfriend on that night, where he could have very easily been charged with unlawful striking causing death,” Magistrate Vasta said.
Supported at court by his parents, who defence barrister James Veivers described as notable academics from Warwick, the defendant was said to be ashamed to still be drug dependent.
In a sobering gesture, Mr Veivers pointed to the dock and said his client understood where he would end up were he to continue with an admitted five-year addiction to ice and cocaine.
“I think it is the ice,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“You are someone who wasn’t brought up with violence and yet on a couple of occasions you behaved in a very aggressive and violent manner.
“And that is what ice does to you”.
Deemed not suitable for probation by the court Bradshaw was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.
A conviction was recorded.
Meth addiction drives father’s vile offending.
“You are just crucifying your family,”
In April a drug-fuelled Victoria Point serial upskirter agreed with a magistrate that he was “crucifying his family” with his deviant behaviour which included terrorising a woman with her young daughter.
Paul Edwards, 33, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making observations or recordings in breach of privacy when he appeared at the Cleveland Magistrates Court on April 17 via video link.
The court heard Edwards had filmed the anal and genital regions of women without their consent at numerous locales including Victoria Point Bunnings, McDonalds, Victoria Point Tavern and a local shopping centre between June and December of 2019.
His covert filming lasted between 15 seconds to nearly five minutes and in one instance included a young girl.
On December 20, 2019 a victim nearly fell over a crouched down Edwards on Colburn Ave.
The frightened woman, who was with her child, was smirked at by Edwards after she hid in her locked vehicle.
The court heard Edwards’ serial and compulsive offending was driven by an addiction to methamphetamine, for which he had completed numerous drug counselling courses.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta said she did not believe Edwards’ offending was oriented to children but condemned his “creepy behaviour”.
“You are just crucifying your family,” Magistrate Vasta said.
Edwards was fined $300 and sentenced to nine months’ prison with immediate release on six months’ parole and three years’ probation.
A conviction was recorded.
Prison the only option for out of control offender.
JENNA-LEE WOOD, 30
“Nothing was going to stop you … You were on a path towards destruction.”
A young mother whose life spiralled out of control after a dramatic uptake of hard drugs was released from jail on February 1 after a court’s attempt to curtail her “path towards destruction”.
Appearing via video link from custody at the Cleveland Magistrates Court Jenna-Lee Wood, 30, sobbed when she realised she would be released after a three-month stint behind bars.
The Wynnum woman pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges, including being in possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis and drug utensils.
However, her “most serious” charges were for twice committing fraud at jewellery stores to the tune of thousands of dollars by using stolen identities, and illegally using rental vehicles, for which she was charged with unlawful use of vehicle and unlawful possession of vehicle.
With no criminal history before her precipitous downfall to drugs in 2019, Wood was warned by the court jail was the only option for her at the time of her arrest.
“Nothing was going to stop you,” Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
“You were on a path towards destruction.”
The court heard the defendant used a stolen identity to secure $1,523 in finance at Prouds the Jewellers at Carindale on October 4 in 2019, and defrauded Prouds the Jewellers in Wynnum of $1418 the day after.
Defence solicitor Jon Ide said his client had no criminal record prior to her 2019 downfall to drugs and was the mother of a nine-year-old.
Wood was fined $300 and sentenced to three months’ prison with immediate parole.
Ice drags successful man into drugged despair.
CAMERON PATRICK DAVEY, 33
“I have done everything I can … you need a taste of prison.”
In December the court heard how a man’s successful life had imploded in the face of a fierce drug addiction that reduced him to stealing thousands of dollars in Lego to satisfy his ice habit.
A well dressed Cameron Patrick Davey, 33, cut a forlorn figure as he was taken into custody on December 4.
It came after Victoria Point man Davey pleaded guilty to a string of offences including eight counts of stealing, three counts of trespass, attempted fraud and receiving tainted goods among others.
The court heard Davey’s was an example of a successful life imploded by a fierce drug addiction.
Introduced to meth during a toxic relationship, the court was told, the defendant discarded a wholesome relationship, lost two properties and became insolvent in the space of a few years as his spiral became all consuming.
A police prosecutor said the man would admit to police that he, together with his then partner, orchestrated a series of desperate Lego thefts:
Davey stole more than $4,000 in the building blocks on six occasions between May 21 and September 25.
Working with his partner while using a trolley to secrete Lego under other parcels the thieving duo hit Cannon Hill Kmart, Robina Kmart, Coomera Target, Pacific Fair Target in Broadbeach and Mr Toys Toyworld in Chermside.
The court heard a September 4 raid on a Capalaba residence uncovered 19 boxes of the toys, which did not include parcels already sold on to fund ice.
Having previously given the man the benefit of a good behaviour bond, community service, probation and bail for similar offending – only for him to reoffend within days – Magistrate Deborah Vasta did not hesitate to give him “a taste of prison”.
“My entire efforts to change your ways have been completely ignored,” Magistrate Vasta said.
“I have done everything I can … you need a taste of prison.”
Davey was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment with a December 24 parole date and two-and-a-half years’ probation.
He was further fined $300 for a breach of community service order and ordered to pay $2,275 for his part in the thefts.
Jacob Anthony Keneally was jail for vehicle theft.
JACOB ANTHONY KENEALLY, 31
“You have had nine years of the courts trying to get you off drugs.”
In June Magistrate Deborah Vasta made plain her disgust for an ice-user’s community-damaging offending and did not accept “the scourge of ice” as a legitimate explanation for his “completely selfish” behaviour.
It came after Wynnum man Jacob Anthony Keneally, 31, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and unlawful use of a vehicle when he appeared via video link on June 2.
The court heard Wynnum local Keneally had stolen a Mitsubishi Lancer from an Alexandra Hills dwelling at around 6am on February 28, while the residents were home, and caused over $4,000 in damages to it.
“I for one am absolutely sick to death of people just breaking into houses and stealing cars,” Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.
“This type of offence has really crept into our society in the last 10 years.
“And it is not explained by drugs, it is explained by a complete disregard for others’ property and rights.”
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Duncan Blackburn said the offending had occurred while the defendant had been on parole for another vehicle theft and said the man’s behaviour seemed to be driven by drugs based on a “smattering” of drug offences on his record.
Defence solicitor Bruce Johnstone said the offending could be put down to “the scourge of ice”.
“It is just one of those situations where prison will be a revolving door if he doesn’t get his act together,” Mr Johnstone said.
However, the explanation won little favour with the magistrate who would not entertain drugs as a “convenient excuse”.
“This is just thinking it is absolutely acceptable to enter someone’s private dwelling and not only steal their car and drive it around but the reckless way that he has used that vehicle, without any care in the world because he is not the one who paid for it.
“He didn’t work hard to earn that car, so this excuse that it is drugs doesn’t wash with me.
“You’ve just gone in and helped yourself.
“It is just completely selfish and you don’t care about the damage you are doing.
“You have had nine years of the courts trying to get you off drugs.
“When will you decide you have had enough? Because I can assure you society has had enough.”
Keneally was convicted, sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of July 1 and ordered to pay $4,188 in restitution.
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