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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

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