Police Arrest Police Usage Handcuffs Detention
Police Arrest Police Usage Handcuffs Detention

Father steals from day care centre during floods

IN A "disgraceful" act, a father of six broke into a Townsville day care and sole four iPads and a credit card during the 2019 floods.

It was just one of four businesses Raymond John Lacey broke into during the natural disaster, claiming his drug addiction made it hard to pay rent.

When handing down a head sentence of three and a half years for multiple charges, Townsville Supreme Court justice David North said it was interesting Lacey's first purchase on the stolen credit card was a case of Bundaberg Rum and not his rent.

The court heard after the death of his baby in 2017, Lacey started taking drugs.

In January 2019, the pair were living in Hermit Park and unable to pay rent.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said Lacey broke into three flood-affected businesses, on January 31 and February 1, and the Good Start Early Learning Centre in Hyde Park on February 9.

He said the business was locked and secured when Lacey smashed the window with a fire hose.

"He turn turned the fire house on … the business was further inundated with water," Mr Walklate said.

"It was a crass act in the middle of what occurred during the flooding."

Days later, police found Lacey at the West End Hotel and arrested him.

After smelling marijuana, a search of his backpack found 7.115g of methamphetamine, 124g of cannabis, digital scales and clip seal bags.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of enter premises with intent, fraud, obstructing a police officer, two counts looting during a natural disaster, and multiple counts of drug possession.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said the 42 year old had taken the time to reflect on his actions and the major family events he had missed due to his actions.

"He is very upset that he's missed significant life events, including the birth of his last son and the graduation of his eldest daughter from school," he said.

Justice North described the crimes as "disgraceful" and said while the value of the good stolen was not significant, it showed a "callous disregard for property owners" affected by the floods.

"Your offending is very serious and as a mature man, if you don't change your ways, you can expect to be treated very sternly."

Lacey will be eligible for parole on April 13, 2020. 

It was just one of four businesses Raymond John Lacey broke into during the natural disaster, claiming his drug addition made it hard to pay rent.

When handing down a head sentence of three and a half years for multiple charges, Townsville Supreme Court justice David North said it was interesting Lacey's first purchase on the stolen credit card was a case of Bundaberg Rum and not his rent.

The court heard after the death of his baby in 2017, Lacey started taking drugs.

In January 2019, the pair were living in Hermit Park and unable to pay rent.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said Lacey broke into three flood-affected businesses, on January 31 and February 1, and the Good Start Early Learning Centre in Hyde Park on February 9.

He said the business was locked and secured when Lacey smashed the window with a fire hose.

"He turn turned the fire house on … the business was further inundated with water," Mr Walklate said.

"It was a crass act in the middle of what occurred during the flooding."

Days later, police found Lacey at the West End Hotel and arrested him.

After smelling marijuana, a search of his backpack found 7.115g of methylamphetamine, 124g of cannabis, digital scales and clip seal bags.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of enter premises with intent, fraud, obstructing a police officer, two counts looting during a natural disaster, and multiple counts of drug possession.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said the 42 year old had taken the time to reflect on his actions and the major family events he had missed due to his actions.

"He is very upset that he's missed significant life events, including the birth of his last son and the graduation of his eldest daughter from school," he said.

Justice North described the crimes as "disgraceful" and said while the value of the good stolen was not significant, it showed a "callous disregard for property owners" affected by the floods.

"Your offending is very serious and as a mature man, if you don't change your ways, you can expect to be treated very sternly."

Lacey will be eligible for parole on April 13, 2020.


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