Sentence for teen is deferred
A TEENAGER who broke into a Rochester home and the football clubrooms will discover his fate in December.
Jye Karl Martens, 19, pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday to burglary and theft.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rachael Hitchens said Martens broke into Rochester Recreation Reserve clubrooms on July 14, setting off the security alarm.
‘‘A football club member came in and saw him fleeing, but he was unable to detain him,’’ she said.
When picked up by police, Martens gave them a false name before telling them he had left a hard case folder inside the clubrooms after watching a friend play netball the day before and had gone to retrieve it.
‘‘The football club member did not remember seeing him or the hard case folder,’’ Snr Constable Hitchens said.
‘‘A friend of the accused also stated they had walked past the recreation reserve the previous evening but did not go inside.’’
Eleven days later, on July 25, Martens entered a house in Northcote St through an open back door before stealing eight watches and a mobile phone from a bedroom.
Arrested on August 10, Martens helped police recover all the watches over three weeks.
‘‘His reason for the burglary and theft was ‘I was homeless and broke’,’’ Snr Constable Hitchens said.
Duty lawyer Majella Foster-Jones said at the time of the offences, her client was 18 and ‘‘his circumstances were quite dire’’.
‘‘He lost his job and returned home to live with his mum, but they had a falling out,’’ she said.
‘‘A month before, he became homeless and was couch surfing for a time and had no money.
‘‘He made the erroneous decision to break into the football club and a private residence.
‘‘Since then, he has been working very hard to get his life back on track.’’
Ms Foster-Jones said Martens had gained employment at a Nanneella dairy farm, where he was now living, and had reconciled with his mother.
‘‘He is a young offender, has made an early plea, was co-operative and assisted with the recovery of the majority of the property and has good prospects for rehabilitation,’’ she said.
With the prospect of her client facing jail time, Ms Foster-Jones urged magistrate Bruce Cottrill to consider deferring sentencing to ‘‘give him the capacity to rehabilitate and allow him to demonstrate the changes he’s made since the offending are long term’’.
Mr Cottrill deferred sentencing until December 5.