It was a morning Otho Street business owners wished didn't happen, but the man responsible for a "senseless" spree of vandalism has been ordered to pay "significant compensation orders and financial penalties".
Inverell's Matthew Gavin Marquart, 21, came before Inverell Local Court for larceny, breaking and entering and destroying property, and five counts of damaging property.
His acts were condemned by the prosecution as a "senseless spree", which damaged numerous livelihoods in March.
Marquart now has 28 days to pay $3939.70 in compensation and $1200 in fines to accompany four 18-month community corrections orders (CCO). In addition, he has has been banned from drinking alcohol for six months.
Marquart's actions were strongly condemned by Magistrate Holly Kemp, who said the business owners must feel "violated", known for taking great pride in their operations.
"Inverell is renowned far and wide for it's shopping precinct," she stated.
"Each act, when viewed individually, is serious. All together, it's significant... an appalling set of facts."
He was caught on CCTV footage "wreaking havoc" along Otho Street on March 13, starting at Jac's Car Wash and ending at Top To Toe Beauty, where he entered and "ransacked" the inside of the clinic.
It began about 12.40am with Marquart rummaging through the vacuum cleaner bins at the carwash, as outlined by police statements tendered to court.
He started taking out cans and bottles and placing them into an empty bin, which he left near the wall.
He has recurring visions and feelings of abandonment... which he has not revealed until today.- Sue Dakin
Turning his attention to the vending machine, he kicked it and retrieved cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth which had been dislodged.
When kicking it again and pushing it from behind garnered no further items, he abandoned the pursuit and, dressed in "distinctive" clothing, was captured by CCTV walking along Otho Street.
He kicked and damaged the glass doors of Brennan and Smith Optometrists, Pink Lotus, Little Nest Emporium, Best Community Shed, and Envious Hair Studio.
When he reached Top to Toe Beauty, he kicked his way into the shop, "ransacking" the place and damaging the counter, cash register and EFTPOS machine.
Police were notified at 8am the next morning. They told the owners, took photos, watched the video footage and identified him from "previous dealings", the statement explained.
On March 16, Marquart turned up at the Inverell Police Station with his mum and dad and was arrested.
Pleading guilty to all charges on April 15, he was sentenced on Thursday at Inverell Local Court.
Represented by Sue Dakin, she prefaced her submissions by saying some of what she would outline had never been heard by his mother, present in the court to support her son.
She explained Marquart had been through a "very difficult period in his youth" when his best friend had committed suicide.
"He has recurring visions and feelings of abandonment ... which he has not revealed until today," Ms Dakin told the court, his mother silently crying as she heard about her son's anguish.
Along with a troubled relationship with his father, Ms Dakin said his "still waters run deep" and he didn't want to "let his mum down".
While not suitable for community service and hoping to make a move to Queensland for a new start, Ms Dakin asked the court to impose community corrections orders with supervision, saying he was aware of the financial damage he'd done to the businesses.
Sergeant Wilkins for the prosecution said Marquart's actions represented a "senseless spree" with "no rhyme or reason", damaging people's livelihoods - livelihoods recovering from the drought and then COVID-19 pandemic.
There is a need for general deterrents, and there is large community interest in these matters.- Sergeant Mareika Wilkins
"There is a need for general deterrents, and there is large community interest in these matters," she told the magistrate.
Magistrate Kemp said only his early pleas of guilty afforded him the chance to stay out from behind bars.
But she made "significant compensation orders and financial penalties" to accompany a string of community corrections orders.
She convicted him of all charges, telling him he had to "get a handle on" his emotional issues, and banned him from drinking alcohol for six months as a condition of each of his bonds.
He was ordered to pay a compensation order of $10 for Jac's, with a fine of $400.
A supervised CCO for 18 months accompanied the compensation order of $2493.70 for the damage to Brennan and Smith.
There was no compensation order sought for the damage to Pink Lotus, but he was fined $400.
It was $406 in compensation for Little Nest Emporium, again with a supervised 18-month CCO.
Another CCO for the same length was joined with $639.50 compensation for Best Community Shed.
For the damage to Envious Hair Studio, he was fined $400.
And finally, he was ordered to pay $390.50 to compensate Top to Toe, and given his fourth identical CCO.
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