YES SIR, WE ARE OUTRAGED
A MAGISTRATE has handed down a non-sentence which he told Echuca Magistrates Court would probably “outrage” the people of Kyabram.
Then gave a serial burglar who smashed his way into the Kyabram Club with a sledgehammer, causing almost $20,000 worth of damage, a ‘free kick’.
Damian Leslie Graham, the 26-year-old father from Truganina currently serving a 30-month sentence for a string of 16 burglaries he committed before the May 15 attack at the Kyabram Club, will not spend one day more in prison for his crimes.
And magistrate Patrick Southey said if this offence was heard with the others the sentence wouldn’t have changed.
Graham appeared via videolink in Echuca Magistrates Court to plead guilty to burglary, theft, criminal damage, negligent dealing with proceeds of crime and a breach of parole.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rachael Hitchens said Graham attended the Kyabram Club on May 15 at 5.30am with a number of other offenders.
“They arrived in a stolen vehicle from Tongala, walked to the rear access door and forced his way in with a sledgehammer,” she said.
“He smashed an auto glass sliding door to enter the gaming area.
“He was wearing a black mask and a set of black rigger’s gloves.
“The accused had then smashed his way into the ofÀce area and forced open the steel door of the safe room, where he stole various amounts of cash.”
The court heard Graham stole various items including a laptop and a swag of cash.
He then loaded the proceeds into the vehicle where the offenders were confronted by security.
“Triggered by a silent alarm the security guards followed the offenders in the car and the accused Áed on foot,” Snr Constable Hitchens said.
“The co-accused deliberately rammed the security vehicle with signiÀcant force.
“The car was found deliberately alight in Rochester later when the accused joined the co-accused and divided up the money.”
Police arrested Graham on May 18 with a number of stolen items in his possession.
These included stolen credit cards from two different people and a diamond ring.
Mr Southey spent some time conversing with Graham’s lawyer about whether he should be “let off free”.
“It is a serious burglary and yet now you are asking me to let your client get it for free,” he said.
“The totality principle would apply here though.
“It may not have made any difference if he was sentenced for this crime with the others.”
Mr Southey said it was Graham’s family circumstances which persuaded him.
“You are a father of Àve, about to be of six, and you are the sole carer for your wife and kids,” he said. “There is no one else.” Mr Southey sentenced him to three month’s imprisonment, which means he will be eligible for parole on January 31.
It is a serious burglary and yet now you are asking me to let your client get it for free Magistrate Patrick Southey