News

Criminals inked with evidence

Police took this photo of Shailee Jane Kingston's tattoo.
Police took this photo of Shailee Jane Kingston's tattoo. Contributed

AN IPSWICH couple who stole almost $18,000 in an armed robbery were caught after they celebrated their heist with a pair of matching tattoos.

John Robert Cole, 30, and Shailee Jane Kingston, 19, both had each other's names tattooed on their skin - above wads of cash and with the words "Partner in Crime" emblazoned beneath.

The giveaway clues proved handy for detectives investigating the knife-point robbery at the Northcliffe Surf Club at Surfers Paradise.

Police were put on Kingston's trail after the mother of one of her friends reported the teenager had been boasting about her crime on Facebook.

And when officers arrested Kingston and quizzed her about her tattoo, she tearfully confessed her role in the robbery - and said she and her boyfriend had decided to get the tattoos to mark the success of their hold-up.

Ipswich District Court was told the pair acted with "enthusiastic bravado" by getting the tattoos.

Defence barrister Malcolm Harrison said that to describe Kingston as "dreadfully immature" would be "an understatement".

"To have his name tattooed on her defies belief," he added.

The court heard the pair took a train to the Gold Coast from Ipswich on September 27 because Cole intended to "do a job".

When they arrived, Cole sent Kingston to the Northcliffe Surf Club at Surfers Paradise to scout the premises and let him know how many people were inside.

That night Cole robbed the cashier while armed with a 30cm knife, fleeing with $17,973. Kingston kept watch from the 18th floor of an adjacent hotel where the pair was staying.

Cole hid the money near a tennis court to retrieve later.

Crown prosecutor John Copley told Ipswich District Court the lasting effects on the staff at the tavern had been significant, and Cole had "menaced" his victims of the robbery with the knife.

Cole pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company and was sentenced to four and a half years prison. With time already served he will be eligible to apply for parole on August 20, 2013.

Kingston pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company and was sentenced to three years' prison and released on immediate parole.

A victim impact statement by the tavern staff member Cole robbed said she still suffered psychological effects from the crime.

Cole's defence barrister, Steve Kissick, said his client had robbed the tavern to "pay a bounty on his head" after he testified against a Finks motorcycle gang member who shot him.

He said Cole was told he needed to pay $10,000 to an associate of the shooter, who was now in jail, or they would hurt his mother and son.

Cole has a 42-page criminal history, including twice escaping from prison and previous offences of burglary.

Mr Harrison said Kingston had never been a concern for her parents until she met Cole.

He also revealed that Kingston was now pregnant, prompting Judge Deborah Richards to say she was "not sure if getting pregnant when she was about to be sentenced for armed robbery was a mitigating factor".

Topics:  crime ipswich district court police robbery tattoo



School's out as 50,000 NSW teachers stop work

About 50,000 state school teachers across NSW will stop work on Thursday morning for a salary vote.

Minimal supervision will still be available as 50,000 teachers vote

Tweed sport in brief

Cabarita's Sophia Fulton finished runner-up for a national surfing title on Saturday.

Weekend sport action

MT WARNING: Rescues show just how dangerous it can be

Therese Krix of Bray Park captured this picture of a misty Mt Warning.

Emergency services executed 14 rescue missions in six years

Local Partners

Joy of Christmas goes up in lights

Which house on the Tweed has the best Christmas?


Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Cooly sings out for carols

Santa gets ready to skydive into the Coolangatta Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 13. Photo: Scott Powick Daily News

Santa dropping in for Christmas Carols at Coolangatta

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!