Shepparton News

Guilty plea to charges

- By Alex Mitchell

A court has heard how a Mooroopna man broke into a house and smashed up the property of another man he was told had assaulted his former partner.

Adam Reece, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, criminal damage and theft, relating to an incident that occurred in Mooroopna on October 15, 2020.

Prosecutor Paul D’Arcy told Shepparton County Court a former partner messaged Reece at 9.50 pm stating “yeah I’ve just been thrown around a room, held down by my throat”, before naming the victim as her alleged attacker.

Reece responded “what the f*** I’m going to get (name redacted) and (name redacted) now”, before he was picked up by a friend and taken to the victim’s Mooroopna address.

It was heard he was met there by a cooffender, the former girlfriend and her new partner about 10.15 pm.

Mr D’Arcy said Reece, who was carrying a mini baseball bat, yelled words to the effect of “come out here you woman-bashing dog, I’m going to kill you”.

He then approached one of the house’s windows, tore off the flyscreen and swung the bat through the glass. The victim heard this and vacated the house via a side window. Reece then entered the house through the window and smashed a television and a framed Richmond Football Club poster, while he also stole an iPhone.

He then exited the house and found the victim’s car, breaking two windows and the windscreen.

When interviewe­d after the offending, Reece made full admissions.

Defence counsel Luke Slater asked that Reece be placed on a correction­s order, stating he had co-operated fully with police, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunit­y, and due to an acquired brain injury he sustained at a young age.

Judge Geoffrey Chettle warned “confrontat­ional aggravated burglaries” can carry lengthy prison sentences, adding “he’s lucky the victim bailed out the window . . . he could easily be looking at six years for this”.

He accepted Reece had “very mitigating factors”, but said “he needs to understand people who do what he did are looking at substantia­l terms of imprisonme­nt”.

Judge Chettle referred to a psychologi­cal report before the court that found clear evidence of a connection between Reece’s brain injury and his offending, noting it explained how injuries to young children caused developmen­tal issues directly linked to a lack of control in emotions.

“Jail won’t assist with his problems, but it could aggravate them,” he said.

The matter was adjourned until December 1 for the preparatio­n of pre-sentence reporting, assessing Reece’s suitabilit­y for a correction­s order.

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