Drunken duo go on rampage

A TEENAGER and 21-year-old tore their way through the old Bremer State High School in a late night rampage causing thousands of dollars damage because they "wanted to smash stuff up".

Paul William Drury, 21, and Dean Martin John Botfield, 18, used a metal grate to smash their way through a door at the school on September 5, where they stole bundles of master keys.

CCTV footage caught the pair smashing the windows of the multimedia centre before setting off fire extinguishers and spraying foam around the library.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the duo then moved on to the manual arts building, using the fire extinguisher to smash more windows, before shattering the science block's windows.

Police identified them and they were each charged with two counts of break and enter, one count of wilful damage to a school and one count of wilfully destroying an alarm or apparatus.

Botfield told police he and Drury entered the school grounds because they had a fight with a housemate and "wanted to smash stuff up". They used a stick to smash various windows and admitted to throwing the fire extinguisher through another window.

Drury admitted to drinking almost a carton of beer before the offence. The court heard Drury had one previous conviction for a similar offence but Botfield presented to the court as a first time offender. Defence lawyer Erin Beer said Drury had "no real explanation" for his actions.

"He acted impulsively and was heavily intoxicated," Ms Beer said. "It was a spur of the moment one off."

Ms Beer said Botfield's behaviour on the night was "out of character" and that he had also acted impulsively.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum noted the alcohol could provide a reason but was never an excuse.

She said if the men freely decided to "consume so much alcohol" they would choose to destroy a school they had to be prepared to accept the consequences.

"This sort of damage to a public building costs a lot of money, time and effort to clean and repair - you've just got to learn to behave better," she said.

Drury and Botfield were each fined $1000 and ordered to share the restitution cost of $2661. Neither had a conviction recorded.

In September, the QT reported Ipswich City Council was planning to buy the old Bremer State High School site and turn it into a massive commercial and residential development.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the council was negotiating with the State Government for the 14ha site to be used for parklands, residential and commercial development.



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