News

Career criminal racks up $12,357 in unpaid fines

Damien Estreich, 23, owes the state more than $12,000 in unpaid court fines.
Damien Estreich, 23, owes the state more than $12,000 in unpaid court fines. Contributed

MEET Damien Norman Estreich, who at 23, is already a career criminal, owing the state more than $12,000 in unpaid court fines.

Despite having a criminal history littered by drug, weapon and violence offences, Estreich has never served actual jail time.

Instead, he is among the many Wide Bay criminals going through the revolving doors of the region's watchhouses, only to walk from court deeper in debt.

As prosecutors and defence lawyers prepare for another day of battle, the Chronicle reveals how repeat offenders are making a mockery of the system.

In the six years Estreich has been an adult by law, he has had many a brief stint in custody after being locked up at the time of an offence or picked up by police for breaching bail/probation/domestic violence orders and awaiting court dates.

The only time he was sentenced to jail was in September last year when he was given immediate parole

When he appeared in court last week for breaching a bail condition by drinking alcohol when ordered not to, Magistrate Graeme Tatnell asked if he was aware of how much he currently owed to SPER.

Grinning, Estreich replied "$12,357 ... the letter came yesterday".

Estreich, who lists his job description on Facebook as "crack dealer", told the magistrate he had "smashed up a police car" and was "expecting some jail time" but that a visiting magistrate had fined him (the fine was more than $1000 with $950 restitution, both of which were referred to SPER).

In handing out another fine for the bail breach, Mr Tatnell said it "would be pleasant not to have you come back" and if he did, he would be off to jail.

The amount owed to SPER across Queensland in the last financial year exceeded $9million.

Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said while it was important the judiciary continued to have wide discretion, the government shared Queenslanders' frustration over inadequate sentencing.

He would not be drawn on whether the government was considering changes to SPER but warned penalties had already increased for murder, firearm and sexual offences and said "we will continue to rebalance the scales of justice in other areas".

Topics:  editors picks hervey bay hervey bay magistrates court unpaid fines



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Crs Seymour, Lewis respond to mayor's open letter

Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers -

The letter addressed a "defiant and destructive” culture in council.

Revisit the murder of a Hervey Bay politician 100 years ago

Murder victim Albert Whitford.

It was a crime that shocked the public.

Pialba residents fume over dust from Ocean Blue Estate

CONCERNS: Pialba's Angie Weeks voices concerns to council during public participation time watched on by unhappy residents.

Residents attended council meeting on Thursday to voice concerns.

Local Partners

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!