JAILED: Teen hits woman with wooden axe handle in hold up
IT was the sort of crime spree you'd expect to see in the movies - stealing a luxury brand watch, an attempted armed robbery and evading the police.
Now, a teenager is behind bars after he used a wooden axe handle to hit a woman at an ATM.
Jesse Leigh Vernon-Ware, 19, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court yesterday to attempted armed robbery in company and attempted armed robbery in company with personal violence.
He also pleaded guilty to a further 10 offences which included driving while disqualified and evading police.
The court hear Vernon-Ware and a co-accused confronted two victims at an ATM vestibule at 8pm on June 27.
Vernon-Ware, armed with a wooden axe handle, and the co-accused cornered the victims.
He then aggressively brandished the axe handle at the pair before hitting the female victim in the knee and twice on the hand - causing swelling and bruising.
The attack stopped when his co-accused noticed CCTV cameras in the vestibule.
About an hour later, Vernon-Ware was seen driving again before evading police.
He was then found at a service station and arrested.
Vernon-Ware's crime spree began on June 15 when he broke into the Tomato Backpackers Hostel and stole a packet of cigarettes.
Later, he returned and stole a number of personal items including a Cartier watch, cash, phones and ID documents.
He was later arrested and found in possession of marijuana.
On June 23, Vernon-Ware was seen driving a car while disqualified and failed to pull over when directed.
Crown prosecutor Erin Kelly told the court Vernon-Ware was not deemed as suitable for community-based orders due to breaches in the past.
Ms Kelly said Vernon-Ware also had a relevant criminal history.
Vernon-Ware's barrister Callan Cassidy told the court his client had a "deprived and disadvantaged" childhood.
He said Vernon-Ware's parents were both drug users and his mother died at a young age.
Mr Cassidy said Vernon-Ware then became homeless when his father was sent to jail, which resulted in him turning to his offending peer group and drug use.
He said Vernon-Ware's time in custody had been a "wake-up call" as he was soon to be a first-time dad and was also subject to assaults in jail.
Mr Cassidy said his client had "considerable insight" to his underlying issues and planned to move away from Bundaberg when released from jail.
Judge Tony Moynihan took into account Vernon-Ware's plea of guilty and accepted it came at an early opportunity.
Judge Moynihan also took into account Vernon-Ware had suffered "trauma" in his "young life".
He also took into account he had spent 108 days in pre-sentence custody.
Vernon-Ware received a head sentence of three years imprisonment with a parole release after serving nine months.
108 days of pre-sentence custody was declared as time already served.
He also received a number of licence disqualifications for driving while disqualified by court and evading police.
Convictions were recorded.