BOOZY: Michael Junior Green admitted to stealing equipment from a day care centre.
BOOZY: Michael Junior Green admitted to stealing equipment from a day care centre. Ross Irby

Dad, mate steal fort from children's centre in drunken heist

A BOOZY celebration went awry when a dad and his brother-in-law sneaked into a learning centre and dismantled a children's fort.

Under the cover of darknes, the drunken men stole the fort and other play equipment.

Ipswich police tracked down the pair after viewing CCTV images which revealed an identifying tattoo and specific clothes.

The missing fort was found set up at Green's home backyard on November 7.

Michael Junior Green, 22, from Raceview, himself a dad, went before Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to entering premises to steal at Raceview just before midnight on November 4.

Prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnelly said the theft took place at the Raceview Children's Early Learning Centre.

Two males were seen to enter the premises at 11.40pm. They disassembled the fort and removed it, while also stealing a small set of traffic lights and other items including a net bag containing a variety of balls.

Defence lawyer Travis Finter said dad-of-four Green was a landscaper who worked six days a week.

"On that night, he was drinking alcohol with his brother-in-law. He says a carton of beer and spirits," Mr Finter said. "There was no rationale for the offences. He accepts it was ridiculous behaviour.

"He is remorseful, ashamed. When he sobered up the next morning, he became alarmed at what he'd done.

"All items were recovered."

Magistrate David Shepherd told Green that, as a father-of-four, he shouldn't have been sitting around drinking a bottle of spirits and a carton of beer.

"It was no more than an escapade rather than one motivated by greed to obtain money," Mr Shepherd said.

"You are young with family responsibilities. But the target of the offence was likely to have an adverse impact on children.

"You are a bit slow to learn lessons but hopefully doing unpaid community service work will provide you with the appropriate deterrent to assist."

Mr Shepherd ordered Green to complete 180 hours of unpaid community service work.

He activated a suspended jail sentence of two months that had been imposed for prior matters dealt with by the court, but gave Green immediate parole release.

Mr Shepherd warned Green he would likely go straight to jail next time if he did not abide by court orders.