Crime doesn’t pay


Appeal by pharmacy ram raid participant rejected

A man who was jailed for a crime spree which included participation in a ram raid on a pharmacy has had his appeal against what he says was an excessive sentence dismissed.

Joshua Mark Turnbull was convicted on his own pleas of guilty of six offences committed between 7 and 10 March 2015: entering premises and committing indictable offence by breaking, unlawful use of a motor vehicle intended for indictable offence, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, receiving tainted property and two charges of stealing.

Among his crimes was a ram raid on the Malouf  Pharmacy in High Street Plaza, Toowoomba.

Turnbull was sentenced on the basis he travelled in a vehicle to the pharmacy where he got out to act as the lookout. A male and a female associate drove the vehicle through the front doors of the pharmacy, causing extensive damage (worth $20,636).

The appellant then entered the shop with the other male and searched through the office area.

The defendant was convicted but not further punished on a charge of obstructing police. A sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was imposed on each of the other counts to be served concurrently with each other but cumulatively on a previous sentence of 24 months’ imprisonment.

The parole eligibility date was set as 9 February 2016.

However Turnbull appealed against the sentence on the ground it was “manifestly excessive in all the circumstances”.

This appeal was refused by the District Court of Queensland, with Judge Butler ruling that “when consideration is given to the six months’ imprisonment under the earlier sentence served prior to the offending, the overall sentence of three years’ imprisonment with parole at about half the sentence was not, in my view, disproportionate to the appellant’s overall criminality”.

“In this regard, it is important to note that the head sentence of 24 months’ imprisonment imposed on 5 December 2014 was for assault occasioning bodily harm, an offence of a different character to that for which he was sentenced on 9 April 2015”.

“A further consideration is that the offending occurred while the appellant was on parole and only a matter of weeks after he was released from custody,” the court found.

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