Gas mask bandit wrecks ATM

WANNABE ATM bandit Shayne Renfree did not get his hands on the loot but managed to cause $40,000 damage to cash dispensers.

An Ipswich court heard Renfree hired an oxyacetylene kit from a Bunnings West Ipswich store to target ATMs.

His criminal endeavours against three ATMs proved fruitless, landing him back in jail.

Prosecutor, Senior Constable Bernard Elmore said Renfree later threatened to kill a witness who gave evidence against him.

Shayne Malcolm Renfree, 24, from Silkstone, appeared in the dock at Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to 10 offences - three counts of entering premises with intent; three counts of fraud; doing wilful damage; using a carriage service to menace/harass; uttering a forged document; and forgery and uttering.

Sen-Constable Elmore said Renfree had an 11-page criminal history.

He said Renfree used the metal-cutting tool, causing $40,000 to the Heritage Bank ATM at Plainland. His efforts, and that of a co-offender, were interrupted by a passer-by.

At one attempt on an ATM at Chermside at 3.40am in 2017, a witness saw two men wearing gas masks running to a black ute. A bank door was damaged.

At 11.30pm on the same day, smoke was smelt and a small flame seen at an ATM in a Fernvale shops. Police said a door was forced open by a crowbar.

Just after midnight on August 11, 2017, at Plainland, two ATMs were attacked.

A worker was confronted by two men wearing gas masks who had metal-cutting equipment.

A fraud offence was committed against a North Ipswich mechanic company when Renfree used a credit card to pay for $8056 work done on his green Holden Commodore in December 2017.

Office of Director of Public Prosecutions legal officer Cassandra Wilson said Renfree faced a serious charge of using a carriage service to menace/harass a male aged 17.

The male was also charged for his role in the crimes and then given detailed statements to police.

Ms Wilson said on December 13, 2017, the man got a phone call from Renfree threatening to kill him.

The call was recorded and the man approached the witness to try to force a retraction of his statement against Renfree.

Renfree's lawyer Rodney Keyte provided references but after reading one letter, Magistrate David Shepherd said it was "hard to accept that he was of good moral character" as stated.

Taking into account the time already served since April 24, 2018, Mr Shepherd sentenced Renfree to jail terms for the offences and ordered his immediate parole release.

He received a nine-month sentence for the Commonwealth offence of using a carriage service to menace.

He was released to a $5000 good behaviour bond for five years.



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