Rockhampton man Michael Cox.
Rockhampton man Michael Cox. Contributed

20-year-old $20 crime haunts Rocky man

NO ONE is impervious to past crimes, no matter how long ago, they can still come back to haunt.

Some 19 years ago, Rockhampton man Michael Cox entered a Townsville pub, he smashed the front door in and stole cash.

For 19 years he managed to avoid detection for his crimes, until today.

He pleaded guilty at the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of stealing and entering a premise.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Shaun Janes told the court Cox's DNA, left at the scene, led to him being charged.

"In the early hours of December 28, 1998, he smashed a hole in the front door and entered," the court heard.

"He used an unknown item to break into four separate pokie machines, and one TAB till. He stole a total of $20.

"Restitution has not been sought."

Defence lawyer Pierre Lammersdorf said that his client's saving grace was the date of the offence.

The court learnt of his good work history including his employment through a security screens firm.

The court also heard of past crimes including a break and enter in 1988 and more stealing in 1997.

While perusing his five-page wrap sheet, Magistrate Catherine Benson questioned whether his wrap sheet would be so large if his charges had been dealt with in 1998.

"This is nothing to be proud of," Magistrate Benson told the court.

"Had you of been dealt with this for then, your history may not have been like it is now.

"This is not an early guilty plea and it is a mystery how you have managed to avoid detection."

Cox was given a three-month suspended sentence with an operational period of 18 months.

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