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Benjamin Byrne-Quinn: Sentenced prisoner fined for damaging ATM machine & drink-driving

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Two women were seriously injured when a car crashed into the Crown Hotel in Collie.
Camera IconTwo women were seriously injured when a car crashed into the Crown Hotel in Collie. Credit: Jackson Barrett/Bunbury Herald

It has been revealed the man who pinned a woman against a brick wall with his car outside a Collie hotel had smashed an ATM with his bare hands prior to the incident that ultimately saw him jailed for five years.

Benjamin Byrne-Quinn appeared in Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, via videolink from Bunbury Regional Prison, where he was fined a total of $2550 after pleading guilty to charges of drink-driving, driving with a prescribed illicit drug in his system and criminal damage.

Further charges of being the driver of a vehicle involved in an incident failing to stop and report an incident to police were dismissed after negotiations.

The court was told Byrne-Quinn had been drinking alcohol with a male work associate at the Crown Hotel when a minor altercation occurred between him and another man that saw the hotel closed.

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Byrne-Quinn tried using a nearby ATM to withdraw money but was ultimately unable to do so due to the machine not dispensing any cash.

Thinking his card had been “swallowed”, Byrne-Quinn struck the ATM screen multiple times and tried pulling the screen off, damaging the machine’s internal camera in the process.

Benjamin Lawrence Byrne-Quinn
Camera IconBenjamin Lawrence Byrne-Quinn Credit: Taylor Renouf/Supplied

The damage ultimately resulted in the machine being replaced.

After leaving the hotel, Byrne-Quinn was involved in another altercation that turned physical before he walked to his Toyota Hilux that was parked across the road.

As he drove out of the carpark, the side of Byrne-Quinn’s vehicle was punched, prompting Byrne-Quinn to stop in the middle of the road and reverse his car at speed into the double brick wall of the hotel towards a crowd of people waiting outside.

Byrne-Quinn then drove off as he travelled towards the Collie Police Station to report that he had been assaulted.

However, it was found Byrne-Quinn had a blood alcohol reading of 0.138 and had cannabis in his system at the time he was driving.

Byrne-Quinn had previously been sentenced to a five-year jail term by the District Court for hitting Georgia Moloney and Alexis Tate with his car after he reversed at speed towards a crowd of patrons outside the Crown Hotel.

Two women were seriously injured after a car crashed into the Crown Hotel in Collie.
Camera IconTwo women were seriously injured after a car crashed into the Crown Hotel in Collie. Credit: Jackson Barrett/Bunbury Herald

After sitting in on his District Court sentencing hearing, where she read her victim impact statement to the court, Ms Moloney later told the South Western Times she felt completely let down by the justice system.

“The judge said that the accused destroyed my life,” she said.

“But he hasn’t got any punishment at all.”

Byrne-Quinn’s defence counsel Karrie Louden told the court her client had “lots going on that night” after getting into a fight with other patrons at the Crown Hotel prior to the offending.

It was submitted that since being jailed, Byrne-Quinn has been undertaking various training courses while in prison.

Along with the fines, Byrne-Quinn was ordered to pay court costs and his licence was disqualified for nine months but he was not ordered to pay reparations for the replacement of the ATM.

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