Disgruntled worker’s ‘malicious’ rampage against boss
A DISGRUNTLED worker went on a "malicious" rampage that cost his former Paget employer $55,000 in profits after claiming he was strong-armed into resigning.
While in a "drug haze", the 46-year-old Mackay father also dangerously drove with open gas bottles in the back of his car and a lighter in his hand, forcing other motorists off the road to avoid a potentially fatal head-on crash.
But Jason Trevor Franklin said he could not recall his crime spree.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard he had worked for RCS Telecommunications for about three months when he claimed he was "forced to resign" or be fired.
Between May and July last year he returned to the worksite three times and went on a destructive rampage that included destroying the NBN cabling several times, damaging security wiring and several cars, smashing the window of a vehicle with a fire extinguisher and stealing a fuel card.
The court heard he took with him a specialised tool to be able to access some of the wiring he then damaged.
"This isn't a drug addled person who's going in to try and steal laptops to sell to people on the street … this is malicious conduct," Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said.
The court heard the damage total was $7420.50 and the business lost about $55,000 in profits.
On October 28 Franklin dangerously drove on the Peak Downs Highway at Ooralea at 3pm, a day after shooting heroin and while he had MDMA and MDA in his system.
Prosecutor Chelsea Pearson said there were two gas canisters "that had been open and spilling gas into the car" and after he crashed into a gully a member of the public, who went to his aid, saw a lighter in his hand.
Natalie Simonsen, of Barron and Allen Lawyers, said Franklin maintained "he was taking the bottles to Bunnings" and "does not recall most of the offending (as he) was in a drug haze".
"He tells me he's only reacted the way he had because of what else was going on in his life," she said.
"He tells me that he is embarrassed and ashamed about what's happened."
But Ms Hartigan said the submissions that he had no recollection was "impossible to accept" and labelled the claim he was just on his way to Bunnings as "ridiculous".
"That raises some concerns for me about your remorse," she said.
Franklin pleaded guilty to 12 offences including dangerous driving while adversely affected, wilful damage, break and enter and fraud.
The court heard his marriage broke down in 2018 and as a result he got caught up in the wrong crowd and started taking drugs.
Ms Simonsen pushed for probation and no conviction to be recorded as Franklin has no criminal history. But Ms Hartigan said there was nothing before her to warrant such a lenient penalty for such serious offending.
"Not only is it within range to give him imprisonment, and he should receive imprisonment for everything … it is entirely appropriate that he serves actual time," she said.
"I accept in a general sense that you were in a dark place at the time."
Franklin was jailed for 12 months and given immediate parole to reflect his lack of criminal history and early pleas.
"You have narrowly missed going to jail," Ms Hartigan said.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay $7420.50 restitution.