FOAM PARTY: Andrew Johnston used a fire extinguisher to damage an ATM.
FOAM PARTY: Andrew Johnston used a fire extinguisher to damage an ATM. Ross Irby

Drunk punter covers ATM in fire fighting foam

IT WAS an attack on an ATM with a difference.

Instead of withdrawing cash or trying to break in, a drunk punter covered the ATM in fire fighting foam.

Using a stolen fire extinguisher, the man was spotted just after midnight spraying foam from the nozzle onto the ATM at a Springfield shopping centre, an Ipswich court heard.

Andrew Phillip Johnston, 27, from Springfield, was grabbed and spent the night in the police lock-up.

Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Johnston pleaded guilty to three counts of wilful damage; stealing a fire extinguisher in Springfield at 12.30am on April 14; and failing to attend court.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said security officers at the Orion shopping centre saw a man outside the entrance at 12.30am on a Sunday.

The shops were all closed for business and the man, identified as Johnston, was seen going to a wall cupboard and removing a fire extinguisher.

Johnston carried it away and was then seen to discharge it, causing damage to businesses.

Snr Const Shelton said Johnston had walked around the centre before being intercepted by security who took the fire extinguisher from him.

He said Johnston smelled strongly of liquor and had been heavily intoxicated and could not be interviewed.

He was taken to the watch-house for the rest of the night.

Snr Const Shelton said Johnston discharged the fire extinguisher at an automatic teller machine on the outside wall of the centre.

CCTV footage showed Johnston at the Springfield Commonwealth Bank where he aimed the extinguisher at the glass entrance and discharged foam from the nozzle for several seconds completely coating the glass.

The foam seeped onto the carpet.

When he later failed to appear at court on May 3, Snr Cost Shelton said police came across Johnston walking late at night at Raceview on May 12.

Heavily intoxicated, he was arrested on a warrant.

Johnston told the court he realised he had made some poor choices that night, saying "I am happy to accept responsibility".

Magistrate David Shepherd said excessive alcohol consumption seemed to be a feature that he might wish to deal with and if he didn't then he might end up in court again.

He noted that Johnston, to his credit, had no prior convictions. Mr Shepherd fined Johnston $750 and ordered that he pay $95 restitution to refill the fire extinguisher.

No conviction was recorded.



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