Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Buggy Burglar Busted; Golf Buggy Thief Legs It from Court on Crutches

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Buggy Burglar Busted; Golf Buggy Thief Legs It from Court on Crutches

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Irby ross.irby@qt.com.au

AT age 30 convicted thief Darren Hicks has more than 60 convictions for burglary, stealing, fraud and dishonesty offences, an Ipswich magistrate, far from impressed, pointedly told the prolific offender.

Hicks, tattooed, wearing NSW blues football colours, with his left arm and right leg bandaged, and using crutches to stand in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court, looked sombre after six months already spent behind bars.

Darren David Hicks, 30, from Laidley, pleaded guilty to nearly 40 offences that included 17 counts of fraud; entering dwellings or premises to steal; receiving tainted goods; entering premises by break; wilful damage; possession of dangerous drugs and utensils; and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

His range of offences included stealing from Gatton Golf Club then using a stolen motorised golf buggy to drive off. The buggy was found by police at his home.

And he'd apparently tried to pawn a Nike driver 3 wood golf club.

Prosecutor, Acting Sergeant Bernard Elmore, sought a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months, saying Hicks had now spent 190 days held in custody.

No facts were revealed by police prosecution but magistrate Virginia Sturgess did disclose some details before the open court when sentencing Hicks.

She said 39 offences were before the court with Hicks having a 12-page criminal history since 2008.

Ms Sturgess said she'd counted 63 prior convictions for dishonesty, burglary offences including shop steals and break and enters.

"For each of these offences there is a victim," Ms Sturgess told Hicks.

"You may have well had a troubled childhood but at the end of the day your status as a victim (is ended) as you created more victims."

Ms Sturgess said the courts had given Hicks opportunities with probation, suspended sentences, but even jail terms had not stopped him offending. …

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