Man surrenders – 16 years after his crimes
IT HAS been 16 years since Dean James Price skipped out on an original court appearance, but in the Proserpine Magistrate's Court on Monday he finally came clean.
Police prosecutor Michael Ball explained Price had fled after being ordered to appear before a Brisbane court in 2000 for stealing and drug-related charges.
On August 19, 1999, Price stole his friend's tape recorder and sold it.
The following day, he walked into Rebel Sport in Brisbane, tried on a shirt and attempted to leave without paying.
Price also stole a pair of steel nail clippers from King of Knives, Indooroopilly, and was found in possession of a knife in Queen St.
On August 24, he was found in possession of a used syringe.
A search of Price's bum-bag on November 14 resulted in more drug charges when officers found another used syringe, heroin and cannabis.
He then twice failed to appear before the court, on December 3, 1999, and January 1, 2000.
"That last quarter of 1999 was a bad time for you by the sound of it," Magistrate Simon Young said on Monday.
"Yes Your Honour, very bad," Price replied.
Mr Ball then explained how Price, now 41 years old, had handed himself in.
"On Monday, May 25, the defendant presented at the Proserpine Police Station and surrendered himself into custody for the two outstanding warrants," he said.
"He explained he had been a junkie and living on the streets at the time (of the offences), Your Honour."
Duty lawyer Cleo Rewald described the matters before the court as "a tidy up", with Price now a changed man.
"He was certainly not in a good place at that time, Your Honour," she said.
"He was in the grips of a daily heroin habit."
Magistrate Simon Young agreed, acknowledging Price had no offences on his record after failing to appear in Brisbane 16 years ago. "It's not usually the case that avoiding the court for so long will result in no penalty being imposed upon you, but as you've clearly demonstrated you've changed your ways I will exercise my discretion and decide not to punish you in these matters before the court," he said.