'Stupid beyond belief': $13K bill from rock-throwing rampage
TWO YOUNG men intent on having some mindless fun did thousands of dollars damage to dozens of vehicles during a series of rock-throwing rampages on the streets of Ipswich.
Cars weren't the only casualties, with two innocent people injured by the rocks.
One injured woman told police that a car drove past, then did a U-turn and headed back toward her before she was struck by a rock.
When Luke Pedrotti and Joel Moore went before an Ipswich court this week to face the charges, neither could justify why they carried out their dumb and destructive acts.
Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said the damage bill was $13,633, with 40 victims involved. He called their actions appalling.
"It was completely unprovoked. They went to parks to get rocks. It was not spontaneous but intentional," Mr Tsoi said.
"No reason but for fun. Forty victims have had their property damaged."
Police sought up to 240 hours of unpaid community service work for the vandalism, and suspended jail terms for the assault offences.
Joel Bradley Moore, 23, from Springfield, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to 39 counts of doing wilful damage; two counts of assault causing bodily harm when armed/in company in Bremer St, Ipswich on September 3, 2017, and to a female at Redbank Plains on August 27, 2017; and operating a vehicle dangerously.
Luke Roger Pedrotti, 23, of North Booval, pleaded guilty to 88 counts of doing wilful damage; and one count of assault causing bodily harm when armed/in company.
The facts were not read out in open court by the prosecutor or the magistrate so the full details of exactly what the two men did cannot be told.
However, some of their destructive acts were carried out at Redbank Plains and Bundamba in June 2017.
After reading the facts put to her, Magistrate Donna MacCallum said it was a deliberate act where "the victim states he was walking on the footpath when a car swerved over to the bike lane and an occupant had thrown a large rock.
"He was hit in the leg. Probably fortunate for him," she said.
Lawyer for Moore, Yassar Khan, said it was a random attack of violence.
"He (Moore) instructs it was not deliberately thrown at the victim who was hit," Mr Khan said.
"The facts suggest a deliberate change of direction and throwing of rocks. My instructions are that the rock was aimed at a car. It wasn't aimed at a person."
Ms MacCallum queried if there were any mental health or intellectual issues.
Mr Khan said Moore had a difficult upbringing and suffered bullying.
With regard to the dangerous operation offence, Mr Khan said he did not think he was tailgating but sped to get away from a Commodore, then collided with another car.
Mr Khan said he believed a car may have followed Moore to get his registration number and that Moore revved his engine in response to the other car. Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Pedrotti, a father-of-one, denied that he pressured Moore into committing the offences.
"He made foolish decisions. He struggles as to why he did this stupidity," Mr Fairclough said. Ms MacCallum said the $13,633 damages was significant, and the conduct very serious.
"It indicates a rampage each of you took part in. It involves injury to other people when these rocks were thrown in a reckless manner. These people were injured," she said.
"These things were stupid beyond belief. I don't understand why young people get involved in things like this."
Both Moore and Pedrotti were sentenced to two years' supervised probation and ordered to complete 180 hours each of unpaid community service work.
They must do programs and counselling. Moore was disqualified from driving for six months.
Each must pay half of the total damages bill.