ROOF DANCER: Joshua Stark bounded about the roof of a stranger's house and busted off their TV aerial.
ROOF DANCER: Joshua Stark bounded about the roof of a stranger's house and busted off their TV aerial. Ross Irby

'Roofer's' high jinx antics led cops on merry dance

A DEFENCE lawyer conceded his client's past drug use might have been what triggered the man's climb up onto the roof of a stranger's house.

An Ipswich court heard police made repeated calls for the offender, Joshua Stark, to come down during his recent aerial manouvres, but he refused.

In facts before Ipswich Magistrates Court, it took police and emergency services officers two-and-a-half hours to safely get him down.

It was thought drugs may have been a factor for the bizarre roof-top antics, but Stark received a medical all-clear from paramedics at the scene.

Joshua William Robert Stark, 29, from Raceview, pleaded guilty to two charges of trespass - in Scottsdale St and in Zoe Court at Raceview; doing unregulated high-risk activities; wilful damage; and obstructing police.

The court heard Stark was seen in the yard of a house at Raceview.

When police officers arrived, they saw Stark on the roof of another single-storey house in Zoe Court.

It was raining at the time and the court was told the roof was wet and slippery.

Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said residents told police the man on the roof had no permission to enter the yard.

Stark said he did not know why he was up there.

Stark pulled and pushed at a TV aerial and then kicked it before snapping off metre-long lengths.

Stark said he needed the bits of aerial "for protection".

Sgt Caldwell said he appeared to be under the influence of something.

Police climbed the ladder to arrest Stark and bring him down.

Sgt Caldwell said paramedics assessed him in Zoe Court as being fit to be taken into custody.

The court heard Stark was not pleading a mental health defence.

His lawyer said Stark was "extremely sorry" for the fear he caused the family whose roof he was on, and for the police, fire, emergency services and ambulance staff time that was wasted.

The lawyer said while Stark suffered a mental health condition, he did not say there was any mental health issues affecting him at the time of offending.

The lawyer said the catalyst seemed to be his past drug use.

The lawyer conceded Stark had a serious criminal history and spent much of his life in and out of jail.

He is on parole for robbery offences until August 2020, and wears a tracking device, which Stark said caused him some "stigma" in trying to find a job.

She said Stark had an extensive criminal history including a seven-and-a-half-year jail term for robbery.

Ms Sturgess accepted it would be very difficult for him to find employment.

"It would not surprise me if drug use was not behind this episode," she said.


Ms Sturgess said Stark should complete 100 hours of community service.