'Disturbing': Gladstone man organises robbery of his own home
EVEN the phrase 'it's not you, it's me' would have been a better option for a Gladstone man who has been charged following his extreme efforts to break up with his girlfriend.
In what has been labelled a 'premeditated' and 'disturbing' act, Michael Dennis Boulton pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of stealing, after he paid an 'unknown person' to break into his home while he and his girlfriend were on holidays and steal all of her belongings.
The court was told Boulton and his girlfriend went on holidays from August 26 to September 6 to see family, and upon returning saw the house had been broken into.
Boulton's plan was to break up with her while they were away and when they returned, there would be no trace of her at his home, making the break-up easier.
He paid the person unknown to police, $200.
When the pair returned, all of her items, including her identification documents; passport, certificate of citizenship, clothes, a laptop and charger, jewellery and more, were gone.
The theft was reported to police and when they arrived at the residence, Boulton revealed his involvement.
He told officers he just wanted her 'out of his life'.
Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said her client had two kids and was unemployed.
"He realises now that he should have handled the break-up better," Ms Ramos said.
She said her client suffered from mental health issues but provided no medical documents to the court to support the claim.
His now ex-girlfriend was seeking restitution for the laptop, a sum of more than $800.
However, Ms Ramos said her client believed he shouldn't have to pay the amount, given the laptop was damaged and not worth that amount when stolen.
Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho said the premeditated act was disturbing, not only that he had 'set up the rouse' to break up with her in such a way, but to pay $200 even though he was unemployed.
Ms Ho placed Boulton on a 12-month probation period and ordered him to pay $866 restitution to his ex-girlfriend.
A conviction was recorded.