The reason man bit off own fingers

A GOLD Coast thief who fell through the roof a Southport store causing $20,000 damage bit off all of his fingers and a toe during his time in custody.

He also assaulted three prison officers in a three-day period.

Petr Stuchlik appeared via video link in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday with two fingers bandaged heavily and the remaining fingers as stumps. He still has his thumbs.

The 38-year-old also had a large white bandage covering his forehead and the top of his head.

Stuchlik pleaded guilty to entering premises and commit and indictable offence, wilful damage and three counts of serious assault of a corrective services officer.

The court was told Stuchlik was in custody in September last year for a string of dishonesty offences including thefts and break ins.

On September 16 he lashed out at a corrective services officer who attempted to restrain him in his cell.

In the next two days he would hit and punch officers when they entered his cell.

The officers were left with bruises and abrasions.

Stuchlik was released on parole in October.

On February 4, police were called to a Nerang St, Southport shop after Stuchlik fell through the asbestos roof and into the store.

There he stole $250 cash and two watches before using a fire extinguisher to break through the shop's door so he could get out.

"He was sleeping on the roof when he fell in," defence lawyer Demi Quadrio, of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, said.

The fall ruined hundreds of pairs of shoes because asbestos dust fell onto the products, making them unsellable.

The total damage was about $20,000, the majority of which was covered by insurance except for a $2500 excess.

Ms Quadrio said Stuchlik had mental health problems.

She said he had bitten off all of his fingers and a toe during his time in custody.

Ms Quadrio also told the court in relation to the assaults on the prison officers, Stuchlik thought he was going to be restrained for a long period of time.

The court was told Stuchlik had bitten off all of his fingers during his time in custody.
The court was told Stuchlik had bitten off all of his fingers during his time in custody.

"He maintains that he was left in shackles and said he wasn't able to go to the bathroom and was left to wet himself," she said.

Ms Quadrio said Stuchlik had been fearful the officers were going to restrain him for a long period of time again.

Stuchlik, who immigrated to Australia from the Czech Republic as an infant, has taken the matter to the Crime and Corruption Commission, the court was told.

Magistrate Kerry Magee sentenced Stuchlik to a head sentence of 24 months prison to be eligible for parole on September 21.

She said she took into account a mental health report which included an expert commenting that Stuchlik may have been exaggerating his symptoms.

She also took into account that the coronavirus was making time in custody more difficult.

Originally published as The reason man bit off own fingers



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