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He ran from the law for seven years

Benjamin Lee Tutuila pleaded guilty on January 19 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to 20 charges including break and enter, driving unlicensed, driving while disqualified, public nuisance, fail to appear in court and theft.
Benjamin Lee Tutuila pleaded guilty on January 19 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to 20 charges including break and enter, driving unlicensed, driving while disqualified, public nuisance, fail to appear in court and theft. Facebook

HE TRIED to run from the law for six years but the law finally caught up with a 32-year-old man with a string of offences from St George, Emerald and Rockhampton.

Benjamin Lee Tutuila pleaded guilty on January 19 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to 20 charges including break and enter, driving unlicensed, driving while disqualified, public nuisance, fail to appear in court and theft.

Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said Tutuila had been evicted from a property in St George in March 2011 and returned to the residence two days after the eviction. He was charged for unlawful entry.

Weeks later, Tutuila entered someone else's car and stole a wallet and entered their caravan and stole cash.

Police intercepted Tutuila driving along Victoria St, St George, at 10pm.

Mr Fox said when he was asked to produce his license, he told police he had a New Zealand licence but couldn't produce it.

Tutuila was charged for unlicensed driving and drink driving with a blood alcohol content reading of 0.129.

Two days later, police intercepted him again driving a vehicle.

Mr Fox said this time, Tutuila told police he had an international licence coming from New Zealand and was rushing to the bank for his brother.

Eleven months later, police caught up with Tutuila in Emerald when they intercepted him driving. This time he produced a Tongan drivers licence and had a BAC of 0.09.

It would be five years later before police ran into Tutuila in July 2017- this time charging him with public nuisance and contravening the direction of a police officer after police attended a noise complaint on Richardson Rd, Rockhampton, at 4am at a garage party.

Two months later, he stole $216.83 of groceries from Coles and two items from the Reject Shop - all which was returned to the shops.

It was while police were arresting him for the shop thefts that they discovered their was a warrant for his arrest that was five-years-old.

"You have just defied the law at will on numerous occasions," Magistrate Cameron Press said.

Defence lawyer Zoe Craven said Tutuila, a father of three, had recently become a full-time carer for his young children as their mother returned to Korea.

She said he now has a full-time job and a new partner.

"The next time you come before the court.... you will be going through that door (to jail)," Mr Press said when he handed down the sentences for the various crimes.

He ordered Tutuila to an 18-month probation order, 100 hours of community service, three-month prison term wholly suspended and operational for two years, disqualified from driving for two years and eight months along with $1200 in fines.

Topics:  break and enter driving disqualified theft tmbcourt unlicensed driving