‘Violent’ armed offender given parole after home invasion
Michael Patrick Currie, 43, was released on parole yesterday after pleading guilty to two charges relating to a drunken home invasion in late June last year.
The court heard Currie entered a Gracemere house uninvited on June 29, 2019, seeking retribution on a former employee of his bond cleaning business who had allegedly been harassing him.
When asked to leave, he told a female occupant of the house that he was going to slit the throats of her and her children.
Currie left but returned minutes after armed with a knife, again looking to fight his previous employee.
He left the premises and was later picked up by police to whom he told he had to do something about the harassment.
Police found him in possession of "a couple of knives".
The prosecution highlighted Currie's extensive criminal history containing numerous violent acts across Queensland.
Currie's offending started at age 18 with offences recorded in Cairns, Charters Towers, Brisbane and Beenleigh.
"He is a mature man with an extensive criminal history including those past convictions for aggravated burglaries," the prosecution told the court.
Currie's defence lawyer told of his recent attempts to make good including attempts to gain tertiary education, abstaining from drugs for eight years and starting his own bond cleaning business with his fiance in early 2019.
The father of three had spent 305 days in custody since the offence and in that time, he had contacted alcoholics anonymous for help and he had also attended 23 substance intervention sessions.
The court also heard of a past plagued by underlying mental health conditions, drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and alcoholism.
The defence told the court Currie had fired the man he accused of harassment for drug related issues and the harassment ensued.
Currie submitted letters to the victims and the court stating his remorse for his actions.
When making his decision, Judge Michael Burnett said the case highlighted the dangers of vigilantism.
"If you have a belief that something unlawful has occurred, your obligation is to go the police - not to take matters into your own hands," he said.
"Most disturbingly, there are a number of offences that seem to bear striking similarities to the offending that I am dealing with today.
"The community must be protected from people who have acted erratically as you have."
Judge Burnett described Currie's rehabilitation prospects as "more promising than many".
Currie was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment on the first count of burglary and threats and one year for the second count of going armed to cause fear with an immediate parole release date.
Judge Burnett warned Currie of what loomed if another lapse of judgment followed.
"This of course means you have another 20 months of imprisonment sitting over your head, and you understand what that means," he said.