Brazen thief appeals jail sentences given for offences from 2014

A  21-year-old man has been given bail despite being given convictions for breaking into two homes and stealing items while the occupants slept.

In one offence between midnight and 5am on March 17, 2014, he broke into another house, stole cash from a woman’s wallet, took her mobile phone from the table beside her while she slept and took a car parked at the front of the home.

In the other offence on April 21, 2014, about 4.20am the man entered a woman’s bedroom through an external sliding door, took a drawer from her dressing table and rifled through it, stole cash from her handbag.

He then woke her up when he used a torch to search her bedside table and ran away when she screamed.

The man was 17 at the time of the offences, which occurred at Wagga Wagga, cannot be named because he was under 18.

Despite demonstrating that he’d since changed, he was given two nine-month custodial sentences with two-months to be serviced without parole in Orange Children’s Court on Monday.

His parole release date was set as March 7 but magistrate David Day granted bail within minutes of handing down the sentence after the man’s solicitor Ben Tonkin launched a severity appeal.

The man, was identified as the thief on August 29, 2017, after he was fingerprinted at Orange Police Station the previous day and his fingerprints were identified at those found at four Wagga Wagga crime scenes between March 17 and April 29, 2014. 

On April 18 he stole a torch from a car that was parked inside a garage and on April 29 he attempted to break into a home but was scared off by the resident.

He was given three year supervised bonds for those offences, which he is not appealing.

Mr Tonkin said his client was unemployed, using drugs and alcohol while living with a cousin who was a bad influence when the offences were committed.

He said the offences, some only a month before he turned 18, were in a short period of time and he has not committed similar crimes since, and he’s turned his life around.

Mr Tonkin said the man completed year 12, and demonstrated his rehabilitation by cutting out drugs and contact with his cousin, getting a job and moving to Orange where he lives in a more stable environment and is starting a family.

“We need more young people like [him] who are able to admit the mistakes that they have made and take responsibility for them and do something better with their life,” he said.

Mr Day said although the man demonstrated that he had changed, two of the offences were “extremely serious”.