Pouring wine in glasses
Pouring wine in glasses

Mates in $22,000 wine bar break-in

A CLOSED gin and wine club provided the perfect shelter for an Ipswich tradie during the COVID 19 pandemic

An Ipswich court heard Reece Dunn and a few mates broke into Fortitude Valley nightspot Proud Henry Wine bar and Ginoteca, causing $22,000 in losses through theft and damage.

Dunn was the only offender police were able to trace and he appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence on Friday.

Reece Nathan Dunn, 27, a sheet metal worker from North Booval, pleaded guilty to charges including break and enter and stealing in Fortitude Valley between April 19 and April 25; evading police in a motor vehicle on April 3; driving when unlicensed; possession of drug utensils; enter premises by break; and driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle.

Prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro said the managing director of Proud Henry discovered a mess when he went to check on his closed business in Wickham St.

Bottles of alcohol had been stolen from the shelves and intruders had cut and removed the CCTV system.

The court heard someone had brought in a mattress for sleeping.

Fingerprints on a glass jug and cup taken from the bar were matched to Dunn.

Sgt Molinaro said Dunn was interviewed on May 6 but initially denied being in Fortitude Valley at the time of the break and enter.

The total loss to the business was $22,362.

The evading police charge was the result of Dunn not stopping a white Mitsubishi Challenger at Booval, in a separate incident on April 3.

Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme said Dunn grew up in Ipswich and attended Bremer State High School but left after year 10 due to his use of heroin, ice and Suboxone.

Mr Seaholme said his client was willing to do drug rehabilitation.

Magistrate Rob Turra said it would be impractical for Dunn to have to pay the full $22,000 hotel loss as there were others involved.

Mr Turra said Dunn had capacity to pay restitution of $6969.

Dunn was sentenced to a 12-month jail term, with immediate eligibility to begin his parole application, despite the court accepting he would not be released before December 31.

He was disqualified from driving for 25 months.

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