QPS trespasser claims he was 'chasing Pokemon'

A burglar says he was
A burglar says he was "chasing Pokemon” when he trespassed onto Queensland Police Service Academy property. Pokemon Go was released 12 months after Ipswich drug user John Anthony Wagstaff was arrested over the incident. DAVID MOIR

A VIOLENT burglar who claimed he was chasing Pokemon when he was trespassing on Queensland Police Service Academy property has had a year shaved off his sentence.

Ipswich drug user John Anthony Wagstaff, 34, claimed he was "chasing Pokemon" when he was busted at the QPS driver trainer centre in Wacol on July 13, 2015.

The incident, in which he was described as "agitated and aggressive", occurred a year before Pokemon Go was released across the world.

Soon after the trespassing, Wagstaff broke into a family's home where he pulled pictures off the wall and smashed them on the stairs.

The violent attack happened in front of two children aged eight and 10.

Brisbane Magistrates Court two months ago sentenced the self-confessed ice user to two and a half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and trespass.

Judge Brendan Butler reduced Wagstaff's 30-month jail term to 18 months on appeal when he handed down a judgment in Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.

Just after midnight on July 14 when Wagstaff broke into a family's home, he tried to get the children's father to fight him, yelling: "It can't be rape because you have kids, so let's go outside".

When police arrived on the scene, Wagstaff yelled at officers "Let's do this, come on, take me on" while shaping up to them with clenched fists.

It took three police and capsicum spray to get the aggressive man under control.

The accused told the magistrate he was in pain from a back injury, was depressed and was a regular ice user, although he claimed he was not addicted.

Wagstaff had convictions for assault, drug and burglary offences.

The judgment detailed how Wagstaff was trying to turn his life around by seeing a psychologist and making "genuine" efforts to "cease using illicit substances".

In reducing the sentence, Judge Butler said he was "satisfied the sentencing discretion miscarried".

Judge Butler ruled the sentencing magistrate failed to take into account time served and Wagstaff's remorse and "efforts at rehabilitation".

"Taking into account the pre-sentence custody and having regard to (Wagstaff's) indications of remorse and efforts at rehabilitation, a sentence at the bottom of that range should be imposed," he said. - ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  court of appeal crime pokemon go queensland police academy

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