Case Study: Charges Burglary & Theft Melbourne

by Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers

Charges:

  1. Section 76(1) of the Crimes Act, burglary, enter a residential premises with intent to steal therein
  2. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft, steal property valued at $20,000
  3. Section 76(1) of the Crimes Act, burglary, enter a residential premises with intent to steal therein
  4. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft, steal property valued at $1,000
  5. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft of motor vehicle, steal vehicle valued at $15,000
  6. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft of motor vehicle, steal vehicle, namely a van valued at $4,000
  7. Section 30(1) of the Road Safety Act, drive whilst disqualified
  8. Section 30(1) of the Road Safety Act, drive whilst disqualified
  9. Section 76(1) of the Crimes Act, burglary, enter a residential premises with intent to steal therein
  10. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft, steal property valued at $5,419
  11. Section 74 of the Crimes Act, theft, steal passports valued at $400
  12. Section 73 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act, possession of a drug of dependence, namely 2 ecstasy tables
  13. Section 30B of the Bail Act, commit an indictable offence, burglary and theft, whilst on bail.

Court Location: Dandenong Magistrates Court

Facts:

CHARGES 1-8, and 13

Our client was alleged to have committed two burglaries at the same house within a period of 3 days.

The total value of property taken as a result of these burglaries was alleged to be $35,600 and included the property owner’s car.

On the second of these instances our client is depicted on CCTV driving a stolen van into a car park at the rear of the property and, together with the co-accused, placing items into the back of the van. The van had been stolen on an earlier occasion.

There was no CCTV showing our client or the co-accused at the property at the time of the first alleged burglary.

The co-accused, when interviewed, made admissions in relation to both burglaries and stated that our client was present on both occasions.

In interview, our client made admissions in relation to the second visit to the property, but denied any involvement in the first incident.

Our client was on bail at the time of these charges and held a disqualified driver’s licence.

On the same day of the second burglary, our client was arrested in the stolen van. Our client faced Court soon after in relation to that charge and others, and was sentenced to a 12-month Community Corrections Order.

CHARGES 9-12

10 days after receiving the Community Corrections Order, our client was arrested, in relation to charges 1-8, at their residential premises.

At the time of the arrest two passports and 2 ecstasy tablets were found in our client’s possession.

The passports were owned by a victim of another burglary. The value of property taken from that house was $5,419.

Our client stated that the house was a share house and the passports were found on the front lawn the morning of the arrest.

Other than the passports, there was no evidence linking our client to this burglary.

These charges constituted a breach of the Community Corrections Order.

Our client was taken into custody on this day. Our client had spent 40 days in custody and had left their previous legal practitioners as they had not made any progress with the matter or even listed a bail application. We received instructions to act the day before Court.

Our client had hoped to be released from custody on the day. Unfortunately, due to no paperwork being filed prior (we were not acting at that time) an application for bail could not be made on the day. The only way our client was going to get out was if the matter resolved and the sentence did not exceed the 40 days already served as pre-sentence detention. Given the significant value of the property taken and our client’s prior history that was an unlikely outcome unless charges were withdrawn.

Result:

The matter was extensively case conferenced. The lack of evidence around the third alleged burglary was put to the prosecution, as was the fact that our client had already plead guilty and been sentenced in relation to the stolen van. Furthermore, there were lengthy discussions around the evidence of the value of items taken and the lack of CCTV for the first incident.

After the case conference the matter resolved on the following basis:

  • Charges 3,4, 6, 9 and 10 were withdrawn;
  • Charges 1 and 2 were amended to include the date of the second burglary; and
  • Pleas of guilty to the remaining charges were entered.

Once the matter was resolved we needed to get Corrections to list the breach and prepare the breach report that day so that the matter could be finalised.

Furthermore, we requested that the matter go back before the same Magistrate who had sentenced our client to the Community Corrections Order that was breached.

When the matter went into Court it was argued that the bulk of this offending occurred prior to the imposition of the Corrections Order, with only the possess drug of dependence and theft of passports breaching that order.

It was put to the Magistrate that this offending should have been dealt with at the time he was sentenced to the Community Corrections Order and that this offending whilst serious, would not have affected the sentence by more than the 40 days of imprisonment he had already served.

It was submitted that as our client was arrested 10 days after the imposition of the Community Corrections Order, he was never given a chance to comply with the order.

The Magistrate agreed with the submissions made and ordered a term of imprisonment of 40 days, declaring 40 days of pre-sentence detention as already served, and varied the Community Corrections Order to start again from that date.

This meant that our client was released from prison and given the chance to comply with the Order that they were originally on. This was a great outcome considering the seriousness of these offences and the value of property taken. It was a result achieved by an attention to detail to the facts and thoroughly prepared legal submissions.

If you have been charged with Burglary, Theft or Stealing talk to our Criminal Defence Lawyers today.



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