News

Much ado about a yellow Mercedes Benz lands man in court

GRUMPY and blue over the loss of his yellow Mercedes Benz that had gone missing, an angry Keith Lea barged into a Targinie house whose owner he suspected had it.

Gladstone Magistrates Court heard how Lea, 54, knocked on the door late at night then pushed his way past the owner demanding to get his car back.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said Lea told the man he was there to get back his car that had been stolen some years ago.

Sgt Stevens said the man unsuccessfully tried to push Lea out and in the ruckus the man got to his bedroom and called police.

Lea, who followed him then went to a garage where a yellow Mercedes was parked

However, when Lea saw the Benz wasn't his he left.

Lea pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling and committing an offence on November 8 last year, possession of explosives (fireworks) without authority, and possession of drug utensils.

Sgt Stevens said Lea admitted to police he over reacted when someone told him the Benz was at the property.

He said Lea never reported a Benz stolen, saying that he never saw the point of it, then became angry, taking the matter into his own hands.

Sgt Stevens said police found a grinder at Lea's home that he admitted using to grind up cannabis and two large fireworks including "a Double Detonator shaped like a grenade" and Tom Thumbs.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said Lea loaned the Benz to an acquaintance "and over time that person he essentially stole the car".

When Lea was told where the Benz might be he went there without thinking but it had been a case of mistaken identity.

"I didn't go there to hurt anyone," Lea said in court.

He told me he sold it. I had no intention of hitting anyone."

Magistrate Penelope Hay criticised Lea, saying he had no right to behave the way he did and invade another person's home.

"You do not take the law into your own hands or force your way into a home," she said.

Ms Hay said Lea had left his car with someone to fix it who he alleged sold it but if he was unhappy then he should have gone to the police.

She said Lea was no stranger to the court system and should know, but fortunately no one was injured.

Ms Hay placed Lea on a supervised 18 month Probation Order.



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