Sen­tence for teen is de­ferred

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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