Teen caught with petrol, lighter after alleged home break-in

A FRESH-FACED teen who allegedly broke into a Mary Valley house on Sunday and caused a huge amount of damage will remain behind bars after being refused bail yesterday.

Matthew Donald Spinks, 19, was found by police at the Kandanga Creek property on Sterling Rd, surrounded by petrol and carrying a lighter; in what police described as "just in time".

The court heard there was extensive damage to the home's walls, windows and a water tank.

The Caloundra man was arrested and spent the night in the Gympie Watch House, before facing Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday on two charges of entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence, and of wilful damage.

He and his partner, who were holidaying at the Imbil Deer Park, used the Kandanga Creek property to have a picnic on Sunday, lawyer Chris Anderson said.

An argument between the pair, coupled with a day of drinking led to the "stupid" offences, Mr Anderson said.

"He's not proud of his behaviour but he accepts what he's done and is prepared to own up to it," he said.

Police prosecutor Sgt Michael Philips said the charges were serious and carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The young man, who has outstanding charges in Noosa, which he has already been bailed on, told the court he knew he had made a stupid decision.

"After sitting in that cell for the last 30 or 40 hours I realised how stupid it was," he said.

"That one little incident yesterday was the first time I had alcohol in three months. If I was let out on bail you would never hear the name Matthew Donald Spinks again," he pleaded.

The magistrate brought the seriousness of the charges to his attention.

"There's a huge amount of damage - only by timing is it that the house is not burnt down."

Mr Spinks was remanded in custody for further mention in Gympie Magistrates Court.

Gympie Times

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