Boyfriend drives off with girlfriend's nanna’s Rav4, dog
TEENAGER Charles Wagner didn't reveal in court what he was thinking when he took the keys to his girlfriend's nanna's car and drove south to Bathurst.
The big border hop into western NSW, the land of the Mount Panorama 1000 race, went full circuit when Wagner, 17, went before Gladstone Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle on February 20.
Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said the woman woke up at 5am on February 20 at a holiday property near Gympie and discovered that her locked Toyota Rav4 was missing.
Her granddaughter, Wagner, who she knew, and a family pet were all missing.
Sgt Stevens said they were named to police as suspects.
Both had left the property in the early hours taking the dog with them.
All were found the next day in Bathurst.
Sgt Stevens said Wagner drove from Queensland to an uncle's property where police seized the Rav4.
Wagner declined a police interview (his legal right) but did say he was responsible.
His girlfriend and her parents attended court yesterday to give him support.
Lawyer Jun Pepito said Wagner had since apologised to the vehicle's owner for his childish behaviour.
He was willing to complete an unpaid community service work order if that was the court sentence.
Magistrate Penelope Hay said he had no criminal history, made admissions to police and been cooperative.
She said he was also very young which would all reduce the court penalty.
"It is a serious offence," Ms Hay said.
"Stealing a car and taking it interstate is a serious thing to do.
"You simply cannot do that with other people's property.
"You are young but that is no excuse as you would know it was the wrong thing to do."
Ms Hay also took into account he had personally apologised to the owner for the offence and would be unable to pay a large fine as he was unemployed. She said that in the circumstances he would more likely benefit from doing unpaid community work.
Wagner was ordered to complete a 60-0hour community service order.