Crime comes back to haunt five years later

MAN IN COURT FOR 2012 VAN THEFT

Weekend Courier - - Front Page -

MORE than five years af­ter an op­por­tunis­tic theft of a Pool­mart van from the Warnbro Fair Shop­ping Cen­tre the of­fender was caught out by his fin­ger­print.

The of­fender, Ian Ste­wart Mel­low­ship, pleaded guilty to armed rob­bery and was sen­tenced at the Supreme Court on April 11.

About 2pm on Tues­day, Jan­uary 31, 2012, a worker for Pool­mart Warnbro parked his work van at the front of the shop.

He went inside to col­lect some­thing but left the keys in the van where they could be seen.

About this time, Mel­low­ship was near the parked van and no­ticed the keys in it as he walked past.

Check­ing to see if any­one was around, he got into the van and started it.

The worker ran from the shop and tried to get into the pas­sen­ger side by hold­ing on to the side of the van.

Mel­low­ship then drew a knife and threat­ened to kill the worker if he did not get out of the van.

The worker kept hold­ing on so Mel­low­ship swerved from side to side and the vic­tim fell.

Mel­low­ship drove away and a cus­tomer who saw him drive away found the van about 10 min­utes later, where it had been aban­doned in Port Kennedy.

Po­lice did foren­sic test­ing on the van and iden­ti­fied Mel­low­ship through a fin­ger­print.

He was ar­rested by po­lice on March 29, 2016.

Judge Ka­t­rina Banks-Smith said a re­port stated Mel­low­ship had gone through a re­la­tion­ship break­down at the time and did not have any money for food or wa­ter, and wanted to visit his part­ner so he walked from Madora to visit her in Port Kennedy.

He told po­lice he was not un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs at the time and had acted out of des­per­a­tion.

She said that it was an op­por­tunis­tic of­fence and he had shown re­morse in re­gards to his of­fend­ing.

“There have been con­sid­er­able savings to the State and the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem as a re­sult of your plea and the vic­tim of your of­fence has been spared the stress of hav­ing to give ev­i­dence and re­live the event,” she said.

“In my view, your plea re­flects an in­ten­tion to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for your of­fend­ing and fa­cil­i­tate the course of jus­tice.”

He was a given a sen­tence of 21 months sus­pended for 15 months with su­per­vi­sion and pro­gram re­quire­ments.

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