Mercedes joy-rider paroled after spate of crimes

A TEENAGER who drove around Ipswich and Brisbane in a Mercedes Benz stolen from a St Lucia home has been granted immediate release on parole.

Paul James Casey Saunders, 19, yesterday pleaded guilty at the Ipswich Magistrates Court to receiving tainted property, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, failing to stop, breaking and entering, and two counts of stealing fuel.

The court heard Saunders was given the keys to a Mercedes Benz which was stolen in July after his cousin, who was driving the car, noticed him in the street in Inala.

Saunders was eventually given the keys to the stolen car, which he drove around Brisbane and Ipswich. He pleaded guilty to stealing fuel from service stations in Rocklea and Sandgate.

He also admitted to breaking into a convenience store in Toowong, where he stole a change drawer and damaged a cigarette cabinet. Following the burglary Saunders fled police after they activated emergency lights and sirens ordering him to pull over.

The car was eventually found parked near the Bundamba TAFE campus, close to Saunders' home.

Saunders had twice been denied bail on the offences including once this week, with Magistrate Donna McCallum noting he had been denying his involvement as recently as Wednesday.

The court heard Saunders had already served 17 days in declarable pre-sentence custody.

Saunders was sentenced to nine months jail but granted immediate release on parole. He was disqualified from driving for two years for failing to stop for police.



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