Jail for man over ram raid, robbery
A man involved in a ram raid and robbery of the Karratha Adventure Sports store late last year has been sentenced to two years jail.
Robert John Whitehurst, 25, appeared in Karratha Magistrate’s Court last week via video link from Roebourne Regional Prison, where he was being held in remand.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary, five counts of stealing, and one count each of possession of meth, stealing a motor vehicle and trespassing.
One of the aggravated burglary charges relates to a burglary and robbery of Karratha Adventure Sports in the CBD in December, when another person and Whitehurst crashed a stolen van through its roller door, rupturing it to gain entry and causing about $12,000 worth of damage.
Property worth about $2000 was taken from the shop. Whitehurst was also sentenced for a burglary and robbery of Karratha’s Pharmacy 777 that month, in which he and another man entered a publicly restricted area of the shop and stole mobile phones, keys and cash, as well as several shoplifting offences and stealing the van used in the ram raid.
The offences all took place between November, 2015 and August this year. Whitehurst’s Legal Aid defence lawyer Leanne Wykes said her client had long struggled with drug addiction, especially to methamphetamines, and had committed all the offences while under the influence of drugs.
She requested a suspended prison sentence based on her client’s early guilty plea and remorse, cooperation with police and desire to recover from his drug problem.
However, Magistrate Robert Young said a prison sentence was the standard penalty for ram-raid burglaries which “have to be considered at the upper end of the scale for commercial burglary offences”, especially against a small business in a small town.
He sentenced Whitehurst to a two-year cumulative sentence including 18 months for the sports store burglary, plus fines of $700.
His sentence was backdated to April to acknowledge time already spent in custody.