Drunken raid on bar fridge ends in court

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

PORT Dou­glas man Ryan de Garn­ham pleaded guilty to bur­glary at the Moss­man Mag­is­trates Court last week.

Po­lice al­leged that on the night of Novem­ber 18 de Garn­ham en­tered a Sand Street prop­erty in Port Dou­glas on his way home from work, after spot­ting a fridge over a fence.

de Garn­ham, who was heav­ily in­tox­i­cated at the time, stole a large quan­tity of al­co­hol from the fridge, be­fore leav­ing the prop­erty and walk­ing to a nearby beach where he drank the al­co­hol.

He had left his phone behind when he made off with the al­co­hol, and when he con­tacted po­lice the next day to lo­cate it con­fessed to tak­ing the drinks.

His le­gal coun­sel, Michael Bolt, said de Garn­ham had no pre­vi­ous le­gal his­tory, and has “just gone off the rails on this oc­ca­sion”.

“He was tempted by the sight of the fridge off in the dis­tance.”

Mr Bolt ar­gued it was “not break and en­ter in the tra- di­tional sense,” in that de Garn­ham had en­tered some­one’s back yard and opened a fridge, and not forced en­try into a res­i­dence.

Mag­is­trate Tom Braes said “our houses have tra­di­tion­ally been our cas­tles, and peo­ple are not wel­come to stag­ger in and steal al­co­hol.”

How­ever he took into ac­count de Garn­ham’s full co­op­er­a­tion with po­lice, hav­ing pleaded guilty at the first op­por­tu­nity.

His clean le­gal his­tory was also con­sid­ered.

No con­vic­tion was recorded, he was or­dered to pay $150 in resti­tu­tion to the owner of the al­co­hol and put on a $3000 good be­hav­iour bond for 18 months.

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