Prison term extended after home burglary

Stock image.
Stock image.

A PRISONER has had two years added to his sentence after pleading guilty to stealing handbags and jewellery worth $500 from a home in Currambine while he was on parole.

Appearing in Joondalup Magistrate’s Court on Friday via video link from Woorooloo Prison Farm, Justin Lee Pennetta admitted to the two charges from October 24.

The prosecutor said it was 9.40am when Pennetta picked up a rock from the garden and smashed the front door.

The 42-year-old climbed through the broken glass door, cutting his knee and leaving his DNA at the scene.

He then stole the items from the bedroom wardrobe before fleeing.

When questioned by police he said, “I owed a lot of money to my drug dealer”.

The home burglary was a third for Pennetta, with offences in 2012 and 2018, making him a “third striker”.

Magistrate Jennifer Hawkins said this carried a minimum of two years in prison and parole was “off the cards” because he was on parole when he re-offended.

Lawyer Marilyn Loveday said Pennetta had a “huge drug problem” but was also suffering after his mother died in 2018.

She said when the father-of-two was released from jail in April he was “making an effort to change”.

He had broken up with a long-term partner who was “also a terrible drug addict” and was in a new relationship with someone who did not do drugs.

He also had a job and had custody of his four-year-old son.

“He really tried but when his mum’s anniversary came around, he lost the plot,” Ms Loveday said.

“That’s when this occurred and he slipped back into his old lifestyle.”

She said while Pennetta was “well aware of what he is facing”, he had “more positive things in place now”.

While Ms Hawkins acknowledged Pennetta’s loss, she said it was also “hard for victims of crime”.

She said this was a third similar offence for Pennetta and “he just doesn’t get it”.

“I’m surprised you are in this position given you were on parole,” she said.

“Things were going well at the start and you were really trying but things spiralled out of control yet again.

“You went back to your old ways.

“It is extremely sad you are now 42 and you are spending a considerable amount of your life in jail.”

Ms Hawkins said home burglaries were “seen as very serious”.

“They cause people to live in fear,” she said.

“People should know when they are in their home or leave, that they are safe.

“Homes are a safe haven and that is why the penalties are very high.”

Pennetta was sentenced to two years in jail and will not be eligible for parole.

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