DNA has been used to help convict a 60-year-old man of several burglaries dating back more than eight years.
Peter Dobrosavlic appeared in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday via video link from Hakea Prison charged with four home burglaries, robbing a business and possessing a prohibited drug and a controlled weapon.
On May 21 he broke into a Clarkson home where he stole a range of items to the value of $800 including costume jewellery, a candle and gaming console.
The prosecutor said police were nearby and found him with the stolen property as well as 0.1g of methylamphetamine and “a small can of pepper spray”.
This incident has led Dobrosavlic to be charged with several other burglaries as far back as January 2011 when he broke into a South Perth home and stole a range of items including jewellery, gaming equipment, DVDs, a television, kettle and toaster.
The police prosecutor said he had been identified by blood he left at the scene.
In October 2016, Dobrosavlic broke into a Morley panel beater business by “cutting a hole in the side of the premises” and stole parts estimated to the value of $3500.
However, he dropped his hat and left it behind along with his DNA.
A few days later, he broke into a home in Stirling by bending a rear sliding door frame but he set off an alarm.
“He fled, leaving behind a hat and plastic bag with his DNA on it,” the prosecutor said.
In March this year, he broke into an Ascot home by removing the flyscreen of a family room window.
He stole a CCTV monitor and cameras then rummaged through bedroom drawers, taking jewellery that was first valued at $18,000 then amended down to $4290.
He was again convicted because of the DNA left behind.
Duty lawyer Frances Allam said Dobrosavlic had been abused by a priest as a child which had “led to a lifetime of shame, depression and significant drug use”.
She said the recent highly publicised Royal Commission had “opened old wounds” and his drug use had “destroyed him” and he was “glad he was arrested”.
Ms Allam also outlined various health issues Dobrosavlic was currently facing and said he was “quite unwell”.
She asked Magistrate Gregory Benn to consider his age, health, early guilty pleas and that he had been in custody since May 22.
In response, the prosecutor argued Dobrosavlic was “a serial offender” and “a clear message must be sent that this behaviour will not be tolerated” and the minimum of two years in prison would not be appropriate.
Though acknowledging Dobrosavlic’s health issues, Mr Benn also said it had “not slowed him down in terms of offending”.
He also noted his age and “personal circumstances in terms of background experiences leading to drug use” but there was also “no slightest indication” that Dobrosavlic would change his ways.
Dobrosavlic was sentenced to a total of 3.5 years in prison, backdated to May 22, with the eligibility to apply for parole if there was an opportunity.
The prosecution also requested $250 compensation for the Stirling break-in and $500 for the Ascot burglary, which Mr Benn granted.
Dobrosavlic was also fined $500 for the methylamphetamine and pepper spray.