A man convicted of destroying the Inverell Baker's Barn Saddlery horse and stealing a "very rare" painting from the Tatts Hotel, told police he really thought he'd get away with it.
Blair Dickie, a 21-year-old from Sydney, stole a painting from the Tatts Hotel after consuming a "skin-full" of alcohol, before attempting to ride the Baker's Barn horse and filming it on Snapchat.
Yet sitting at the Inverell Local Court room on Wednesday as the magistrate handed down her verdict, the grinning vandal's smirk was wiped clean off his face.
With a compensation order of $9000, a fine of $400, two convictions and a conditional release order for 12 months, it was one very expensive joy ride.
Facts tendered to court read on March 12, Dickie was caught on CCTV leaving the Tatts at about 10pm after taking an "extremely rare" limited edition James Squire beer map off the wall. He'd been drinking since 6pm.
Dickie was then seen at McDonald's with the map, ordering food, before walking back to a caravan park where he was staying, and drinking yet more alcohol.
But he then returned to ask about food missing from his order, and the horse caught his eye on the way back.
Climbing up a street sign, jumping onto a telegraph pole, he then launched himself onto the roof. He tried to ride the "iconic" statue while filming his antics on Snapchat, but both he and the horse fell off the roof.
The horse lost its tail, ear, leg, and was "heavily dented and scratched".
A member of the public went to police the next day to show them the footage.
One video shows Dickie with the painting, captioned "f*** yeah walked straight out of the pub with this bad boy".
Another shows him riding the horse down the street saying "you're coming with me".
"I'm looking at this horse and thought, f*** I'm getting on that thing," he told police when they interviewed him the next day - at the site where he worked for a contractor on the Inverell Hospital upgrade.
He ended up returning the paining to the police station, and it's now back in the hands of the pub owner.
Dickie's legal representative, Mandy MacKenzie, told Magistrate Holly Kemp that he had been fired on the spot after his employer found out what he'd done after having a "skin-full" of alcohol.
"Anyone could see from the facts he would have to be extremely intoxicated to achieve what he did," she said.
"He did lose his job immediately when police interviewed him when he made admissions.
"In the light of day, looking back on it, it's not one of his proudest moments, it's very embarrassing."
Magistrate Kemp said while his intoxication was clearly the reason for the "stupidity", it was in no means an excuse.
"You have destroyed and damaged something very special and something that holds significance here in the town of Inverell," she admonished.
"You then went on to boast about it on social media. It's completely appalling behavior and stupidity of the highest order."
Dickie was convicted and fined $400 for stealing the painting.
He then copped a 12-month conditional release order with a conviction for damaging the horse, and an eye-watering compensation order for $9000 which will go to the saddlery.
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