“I’m sorry”: man smashes widow’s heirloom
A YOUNG man tried to make amends to an elderly widow whose home he drunkenly broke into before purposely smashing "priceless family heirlooms", a court has heard.
Brodie Liam Oats, 21, along with a co-offender broke into the home of a 76-year-old woman, on the Bruce Highway south of Townsville on December 14, last year.
Police prosecutor Cassandra Nitz said about 11pm that night Oats and the co-offender left a party on a rural property and decided to walk back into town when they smashed a rear window of the unoccupied house and forced the back door open.
The court heard when inside, Oats deliberately pushed "priceless family heirlooms like glassware" off of the kitchen table and onto the floor.
Oats then picked up a wooden dining chair and threw it through the kitchen window.
"This must have caused some fear or shock to the victim upon returning … that her home has been broken into," Ms Nitz said.
The court heard Oats contacted family members of the elderly woman and apologised to them as well as offering to pay for the damage to the house that he believed was abandoned.
Two days after the incident the victim's daughter received three videos of Oats inside her mother's house destroying the property.
A quote of the damage to the smashed window came to more than $1000.
Defence Barrister Michael Hibble said his client had been "immature" and was remorseful for his actions, having dropped off an envelope containing $2000 to the Home Hill Police Station for the victim's family along with a letter of apology.
"He's 21 going on 16 by looking at his actions," he said.
Oats pleaded guilty to one count of enter dwelling and commit indictable offence in the Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday.
Magistrate Viviana Keegan said what the man did was "senseless".
Oats was sentenced to six months jail, wholly suspended for two years and was ordered to pay $5000 in compensation within 12 months.
Outside court, Oats said he was sorry for his actions and had tried to make reparations to the family.
Originally published as "I'm sorry": man smashes widow's heirloom