Vigilante sentenced for second time in 12 months
SIX months after his release from jail and following the breakdown of his long-term relationship, Colin Joshua Charles Phipps found himself in the "wrong crew" in Dalby and was arrested for a string of charges including possession of drugs, weapons, and explosives.
Phipps appeared before the Dalby District Court for breaching the suspended sentence he was given before the same court, 12 months earlier.
The court heard Phipps was sentenced on August 20 last year in the court for a string of serious charges, including assault causing grievous bodily harm while armed and in company, deprivation of liberty and demanding property with menace.
He was sentenced to three years imprisonment to be suspended after six months, for an operational period of four years.
This meant that if Phipps was to commit another crime punishable by jail time after his release from prison within four years, he would return to jail to serve the remaining two and a half years of the sentence.
On August 10 this year, a little under 12 months after his sentence, Phipps was sentenced to 12 months probation in the Dalby Magistrates Court for another string of serious offences including possession of a dangerous drug, three counts of possessing utensils, two counts of possessing a knife in a public place, and possessing explosives.
The matter proceeded to a higher court after his sentencing because the offences were in breach of his suspended sentence as they were committed within the four year operational period.
Crown prosecutor James Bishop told the judge it would be "unjust" to activate the whole sentence and order Phipps to serve time in prison.
Defence lawyer Frank Martin said Phipps had committed "minor" offences to breach the order.
Mr Martin said when his client was released from prison in February of this year, his family were not at their property because they were in Italy on a holiday.
With COVID-19 becoming heightened in that time, the family had to remain in Italy until the end of March.
Phipps decided to travel to see his partner and the mother of his child after his release.
Prior to his time in prison, Phipps had arranged accommodation for his then-partner and their daughter near Brisbane, and assumed their relationship would continue upon his release.
Mr Martin said when his then-partner picked him up from the train station, she told him their relationship was at its end and she had met a new partner.
He has since lost contact with her and their young daughter.
Mr Martin said when he returned to Dalby he fell into the "wrong crew".
Since his most recent offending, Phipps has been successful with his probation, according to Mr Martin, and had found work in New South Wales.
The defence lawyer agreed with Mr Bishop and said it would be unjust to activate all of part of the suspended sentence.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said he remembered sentencing Phipps last year because of the seriousness of his offences.
The judge said he didn't need to tell Phipps how "stupid" it was to get involved with drugs.
"The surest way to find yourself in court is to get involved with drugs," he said.
Judge Horneman-Wren extended the operational period of each sentence by nine months.