CRIME: Tyrese William Anthony Weribone faces court for robbing war veteran. Pic: Supplied
CRIME: Tyrese William Anthony Weribone faces court for robbing war veteran. Pic: Supplied

Youth crim released after robbing Toowoomba war veteran

A young offender who robbed a 98-year-old World War II veteran has been released back in the community after facing court for a burglary and car theft rampage throughout Toowoomba.

Chinchilla Magistrates Court heard St George 18-year-old Tyrese William Anthony Weribone committed 21 offences between September - December 2020, including three burglaries one of which left a 98-year-old Toowoomba war veteran feeling violated.

Since December 12, Weribone has been remanded in custody and appeared via video link from jail for his Thursday, March 18 court appearance where police prosecutor sergeant Chris

Hutchins told the court he believed a term of imprisonment would hinder the court's ability to successfully rehabilitate the young offender.

"The longer the period of rehabilitation (is suggested) for an 18-year-old to try and stem his habits now, so we don't have a 25-year-old coming before the court," he said.

"But this would be the last time I make that submission for a young person that is breaking into houses and stealing cars."

Sergeant Hutchins made a submission to the court Weribone serve a long period of probation rather than a short parole period to break the troubled teen's delinquent cycle of behaviour.

Weribone's lawyer, barrister Wes Seewald, said the seriousness of the crimes and their consequences were not lost on the teen, as he faced not only legal ramifications, but also great personal losses.

"(He) missed his uncle's funeral… further his closest childhood friend passed away last week at 18," he said.

"(He's) been absent from his friend during the last moments of his life, and the funeral is tomorrow… he is at the mercy of the court."

Mr Seewald said the crimes Weribone committed, happened in the company of friends who were a bad influence, and that his young age and impressionability were relevant factors.

Once released, Mr Seewald said Weribone had no issues with drugs or alcohol planned to start a fresh life and be a better remodel for his younger siblings.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop said what concerned her the most was at the time of the crimes, the young man was fresh out of custody on a string of similar crimes.

"Within 17 days (of being released) he does the stupid act of throwing a (rock) at a police vehicle and then less than two months (later) he commits the burglaries… one 98-year-old elderly male" she said.

"He was a war veteran and a vulnerable member of the community.

"He's been in jail and knows the consequence of going to jail and when he gets out.. he is offending in a serious way."

Magistrate Mossop told Weribone it was time to change unless he wanted to start his career in the jail system.

"I hope your experience in jail has been unpleasant enough that you do not want to return - I really do hope that," Magistrate Mossop said.

Weribone pleaded guilty to all charges, including unlawful use of a motor vehicle, wilful damage of police property, endangering the safe use of a vehicle by throwing an object, nine charges of bail breach, charges of entering a dwelling and commit indictable offence, enter dwelling with intent at night and more.

For the three burglary charges, Weribone was sentenced to a concurrent head-sentence of 7 months imprisonment wholly suspended for 14 months - convictions were recorded.

For the three counts of trespass and throwing an object at a police car, Weribone was convicted and not further punished - convictions were recorded

For all other offences, Weribone was sentenced to 2 years' probation - no conviction was recorded.

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