Matthew James Donaldson pleaded guilty to one count of enter premises with intent after he broke into a church and tried to gain access to its safe. Photo: Contributed
Matthew James Donaldson pleaded guilty to one count of enter premises with intent after he broke into a church and tried to gain access to its safe. Photo: Contributed Contributed

Ipswich dad tries to crack church safe

THOU shalt not steal. It's a biblical commandment not followed by one Bundamba dad after he tried to crack open a safe inside a church.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Matthew James Donaldson pleaded guilty to entering a premise with intent after breaking into the Bulimba Uniting Church and trying to get into the church safe.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said the 38-year-old had tried to pry open the safe, located in an office at the back of the building, using a screwdriver.

In his first attempt to break open the safe, Donaldson instead broke the screwdriver.

After a second attempt with another screwdriver failed, Donaldson gave up and left empty-handed.

The offence took place sometime between June 7 and June 10 this year.

After the crime was reported, police arrived at the scene to find one of the screwdrivers had been left wedged in the safe.

Donaldson's DNA was found on the tool and he was questioned by police on July 5. He initially told officers he could not recall breaking into the church, but later admitted to the crime.

Defence lawyer Erin Dwan said Donaldson committed the offence following an argument with his partner.

The father of four had been driving around Brisbane and became upset by something written on a billboard outside the church, which prompted him to break into the building.

Ms Dwan said her client had allowed emotions get the better of him and was remorseful for his behaviour.

After he was charged for the crime, Ms Dwan said Donaldson had enrolled in an anger management course and was seeing a psychologist. Donaldson was convicted and fined $600.


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