'Quite tragic': He drank a bottle of vodka a day
A YOUNG Gladstone man was so consumed by alcoholism he would drink at least an entire bottle of spirits a day, a court has heard.
John Edward Lingwoodock, 21, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates a Court to wilful damage, three counts of stealing from a premises, and four counts of entering a premises with intent, after breaking or letting himself into a number of cars between November 2015 and August 2016.
The court heard on August 6, 2016, Lingwoodock used a fire extinguisher to smash his way into a car parked in a public car park.
Summarising police facts, magistrate Melanie Ho said Lingwoodock stole from the car a large garden ornament, which he used to break into a second car.
Ms Ho said Lingwoodock then took off his belt and used it to scratch up the side of the second car and break a window.
She said he rummaged through the car and removed property which was later found on the ground nearby.
Ms Ho said Lingwoodock was found by police in the back of one of the cars, drunk and with a cut to his finger.
He was charged and his fingerprints linked him to two more offences on November 27 the year prior.
Ms Ho said on that night he helped himself to a purse containing $50 cash from an unlocked car, and rummaged through an unlocked minibus.
Then, on February 15, he stole $20 in coins from two unlocked cars parked in a driveway, and rummaged through a third vehicle.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Lingwoodock had no criminal history and had admitted his guilt to police.
Sgt Stevens said he had caused more than $11,000 damage to the cars he broke into.
Lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said Lingwoodock was an alcoholic who had been drinking since he was 16.
"He would often drink at least a of bottle of spirits, often vodka, each day," Ms Ditchfield said.
She said her client had been off alcohol for some months, because his bail conditions required he be breath tested regularly.
"He's essentially been forced to quit drinking," she said.
Ms Ditchfield described the offences as "opportunistic".
Ms Ho acknowledged Lingwoodock was a "recovering rehabilitating alcoholic".
"It's quite tragic the earlier part of your adult life has been consumed by alcohol addiction," Ms Ho said.
She sentenced Lingwoodock to two years probation with alcohol counselling, and ordered him to pay back the stolen money and car repair bills.