Teen heroin addict jailed

A TEENAGE boy was so desperate for a hit of heroin that he used a knife to hold up a 74-year-old man, Bundaberg District Court was told yesterday.

David James Brackin, 17, pleaded guilty to one charge of armed robbery with personal violence, seven counts of burglary and stealing, one of breaking and entering and one of wilful damage.

Prosecutor Mathew Thompson told the court Brackin was armed with a knife when he held up the owner of the Alexandra Park Motor Inn on March 3.

“He demanded the man’s wallet and was initially fought off with a chair, but returned and knocked the man down before taking his wallet,” Mr Thompson said.

He said Brackin was also responsible for a string of burglaries that netted more than $28,000 in stolen property.

Defence barrister John McInnes told Judge David Searles his client was still young and had had a “difficult” background.

“He never met his father and his mother had a drug problem and was violent,” Mr McInnes said.

“He went into care at the age of five ... and hasn’t seen his siblings for six-and-a-half years.”

Mr McInnes told the court Brackin first tried cannabis at the age of 11, before moving onto harder drugs and becoming hooked on heroin late last year.

“At the time of the armed robbery, he was under the influence of other drugs and said he would have done anything to get heroin,” he said.

“He doesn’t want to make excuses for himself — he said he was off his head, but he still did it.

“Because of the state he was in, he did not appreciate the age of the victim.”

The offences were committed in a three-month period between December last year and March, and Brackin was held in pre-sentence custody for more than seven months.

Judge Searles told Brackin that his first priority was to get off heroin, and sentenced the teenager to a total of three years in prison.

He will be eligible for parole on January 20 next year.

Brackin will also face drugs charges at the Supreme Court at a later date.

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