A teenage offender signed up for a government farm scheme after a senior magistrate talked him out of serving prison time yesterday.
Enchye Zuill, 19, opted to do 80 days in jail rather than pay $800 outstanding on a $1,000 fine. Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe told Zuill, 19, that prison would only put him on a more destructive path.
He said: Im not going to assist you in destroying your life.
Mr Wolffe was speaking after he ordered Zuill, from Warwick, to pay a $1,000 fine for driving without third-party insurance by the end of the day.
Zuill told the court: I got fired Friday, Im done. I dont have time to go back and forth, I just want to get this over with.
Zuill added that he did not want to burden his uncle, whom he lived with, with the fine because he had to pay for his living expenses.
Mr Wolffe said that prison time would damage his chances of getting another job.
He added: You seem like a bright young man with a lot of potential. I dont want you to throw your life away.
Pastor Leroy Bean, the gang-reduction co-ordinator, offered Zuill a place on the Redemption Farm scheme, designed to give at-risk men and women the chance to grow crops and raise chickens while they take part in employment training and vocational skill workshops.
Mr Wolffe adjourned the case until July 29.
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