Magistrate offers hope to burglar

A MAGISTRATE and police prosecutor recommended rehabilitation over prison in the case of a young burglar.

A 19-year-old man appeared for sentencing at the Rockingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The accused was charged with seven burglary and stealing charges from offences committed during December 2014 and January 2015.

The prosecutor told the court that the man had entered several homes on different dates, gaining entry by either smashing windows or doors.

In each instance, he ransacked the homes but was identified through DNA analysis after leaving drink bottles at two of the homes.

The combined value of the thefts was more than $10,000 and included an antique military bayonet, electrical items, cash and jewellery.

The man�s lawyer said he had had a difficult childhood, with both parents drug users. At age 12, the accused became a drug user and started committing crimes to fuel his habit. His lawyer said he had been fortunate to find a new family with his girlfriend and her parents, who were willing to help him get his life back on track.

A pre-sentence report ordered by the magistrate echoed the sentiment. The prosecutor supported rehabilitation in this case.

�He has shown remorse through paying restitution to the victims, does have a supportive family and he works,� he said. �To incarcerate him now would be more of a negative.�

Magistrate Stephen Wilson said people were sick and tired of people stealing their treasures and hard-earned items. He said there was hope for the man but there was a need for deterrence.

�In my view there needs to be a significant message sent to you and others that these offences won�t be tolerated,� he said.

He sentenced the 19-year-old to a 12-month intensive supervision order with 80 hours of community work and ordered him to pay restitution of $6700 to his victims.

�The thing that saves you today is that you have a very supportive family,�he said. �Embrace what they give you and don�t abuse that.�