Hun­gry thief calls de­liv­ery man ‘nice bloke’

The Western Star - - NEWS -

A THANK­FUL pizza thief praised the vic­tim he lured to a sub­ur­ban street.

Michael James Walsh was grate­ful again on Thurs­day – for the le­niency a judge showed him.

In April 2016, may­hem erupted when Walsh and two other peo­ple went to a Chin­chilla house, de­mand­ing $30.

Prose­cu­tors said the 19-year-old res­i­dent who an­swered the door was “im­me­di­ately as­saulted”.

The res­i­dent put one at­tacker in a head­lock – but was bit­ten on the arm and his house trashed.

One at­tacker broke a TV, throw­ing pieces of it.

Bris­bane District Court heard Walsh, now 21, didn’t in­sti­gate the at­tack but threw an iPod dock at the res­i­dent. A co-of­fender hurled a vac­uum cleaner through a win­dow.

In Septem­ber that year, Walsh or­dered pizza to a ran­dom Bris­bane southside ad­dress and lurked out­side. The driver ar­rived. The court heard Walsh, hold­ing a knife, told him: “Don’t worry about it, give me the whole bag.”

The driver com­plied. Walsh told him he was a “nice bloke”.

“He prob­a­bly didn’t think the same about you,” Judge Bernard Porter told Walsh.

De­fence coun­sel Ju­lian Noud said Walsh’s mo­ti­va­tion for the rob­bery, “as ridicu­lous as it sounds,” was hunger. The bag had four piz­zas, two gar­lic breads and $10 cash.

Mr Noud said his client grew up in Toowoomba and Emer­ald and had lived in Roma. He said Walsh was raised well but ice abuse af­flicted him.

“Young men do silly things,” Mr Noud said.

The Crown wanted more than four years’ jail.

In­stead, Walsh got three and a half. Judge Porter said Walsh was young, with good re­hab prospects, and had spent 245 “sober­ing” days in cus­tody. Be­cause of time served, Walsh can ap­ply for pa­role on Septem­ber 28.

“That’s a bet by the com­mu­nity, act­ing through me, that you’ll take ad­van­tage of that le­niency,” Judge Porter said.

He said Walsh in­dulged in “about as much stu­pid­ity as one young man can have” without “things go­ing hor­ri­bly wrong”.

Walsh thanked the judge, who added: “Stay away from the drugs, stay fo­cused on what’s im­por­tant in life.” –NewsRe­gional

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