Jail for man over ram raid, rob­bery

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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