Benjamin Smith escaped time behind bars for property damage.
Benjamin Smith escaped time behind bars for property damage. serggn

A serial damage on society

A MAN has escaped time behind bars after a reckless $100 bet with his mates.

Benjamin Michael Smith, of Cannonvale, was celebrating his 26th birthday at Airlie Beach's Magnums on August 3, when a "spur-of-the-moment” decision would have Smith later facing time behind bars.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said Smith was drinking at Magnums when he broke through a crowd outside the bar, who were gathered to watch a parade.

He jumped on the bonnet of a car in the parade as part of bet he'd made with his mates, causing a dent in the bonnet.

"You must have been charged up, you must have had a good amount to drink,” Mr Morton said.

"This is absolutely stupid - it's disrespectful to the property and the person who owned it.

"At some stage the penny has to drop with you, you're not a kid anymore.”

Smith's case resumed this week as magistrate James Morton was concerned about the outcome of Smith's case when he pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court last week, without any legal representation, to committing a public nuisance and wilful damage.

Mr Morton told the court Smith had an extensive history of wilful damage, putting Smith in range of a term of imprisonment for his most recent public escapade.

"You were last in this court for three charges of wilful damage where you put on probation for 15 months,” Mr Morton said.

"But then there is your NSW criminal history, where I've counted eight similar offences.”

Solicitor Peta Vernon said Smith had returned to the Airlie Beach area, where is father resides, to control his public outbursts.

"The NSW area is just toxic to him - he's come back here to get on the straight and narrow,” she said.

Smith was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, wholly suspended for 15 months, and fined $400.

He is also banned from the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct for 12 months and ordered to pay more than $850 in restitution.


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