Jail for brazen, angry Mildura thief

A MAGISTRATE says a Mildura man was “somewhat brazen” to steal a $13,000 ute from a local car dealership in broad daylight, given it was inevitable he would be caught.

William Charles Mitchell pleaded guilty to a string of charges at the Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday, including three related to offences he committed in custody.

On the afternoon of February 27, Mitchell got into a silver Mercedes at Cav’s Used Cars but after being spoken to by a staff member, left the premises, the court was told.

About 20 minutes later he returned to the reception area where a $13,000 Ford Falcon ute was parked and got in the driver’s seat and reversed it out of the dealership before travelling along San Mateo Avenue.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Lauren Abson said he then drove the stolen ute to Coles Express on Fifteenth Street and made off with $90 worth of petrol.

Later that night while driving the stolen vehicle, Mitchell collided with a fence, causing $500 damage and fled the scene.

The following day, police forensically linked a footprint on the vehicle’s bonnet to Mitchell and arrested him.

In early March, following a court appearance, Mitchell caused $500 damage when he kicked a wall in the corridor of the Mildura Magistrates’ Court while being taken back to the cells.

In another incident while on remand, Mitchell was being led back to his cell after having a visitor when he approached a victim and began throwing punches in an unprovoked assault.

After seeing the scuffle, a second victim attempted to interject, but Mitchell punched him in the face causing a blood nose and black eye.

Police custody officers deployed capsicum spray to apprehend Mitchell who was deemed unfit to interview due to his aggressive behaviour.

His defence counsel told the court her client had a low IQ, suffered from foetal alcohol syndrome and had been diagnosed with ADHD.

She said the earlier offending was a result of a drug induced psychosis.

Magistrate Andrew Capell noted Mitchell’s intellectual disability but said the car theft was a “somewhat brazen” act and it was inevitable he would be caught.

At the time of the crime he was unlicenced.

Mr Capell sentenced Mitchell to five months’ jail, with 19 days already served. 

This story appears in Thursday's Sunraysia Daily, 21/3/2019. To subscribe to our Digital Edition, click here