A man has been jailed after he broke into a Mount Austin home in the middle of the night and stole about $6000 worth of fishing equipment.
Jarred Wade McKellar, 29, appeared before Wagga’s District Court for sentencing on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to robbing the Waranga Avenue home in November.
The court heard that McKellar was already on bail for two other crimes when he broke into the home about 4:30 in the morning.
Once inside, McKellar stole a woman’s handbag and some valuable fishing gear and lures from the back shed.
He then dumped the fishing gear in a garden near Willan’s Hill with the intent of retrieving it later before trying to make a purchase with the woman’s Visa card.
He was quickly arrested when he went to the police station two days later to report for bail, and the fishing equipment was never retrieved.
McKellar was called to give evidence in his sentencing hearing and told the court he stole the fishing gear to finance his drug habit.
“I was planning on not going into the house – I don’t know, really, I just was in desperate need of money at the time,” McKellar said.
“I shouldn’t have done it, I felt bad for doing it and sorry for the person who owned the house.”
After McKellar addressed the court, Judge Stephen Norrish said it was clear that the man suffered from some learning difficulties or an intellectual disability and had lived a life of great disadvantage growing up on a mission near Bourke.
“He was subject, he said, to some violence from his mother, who herself had her own difficulties with alcohol,” Judge Norrish said.
“I can’t conclude, of course, that he has an intellectual disability, as opposed to a learning disability, or simply comes to court absent of the benefits of an education,” Judge Norrish said.
However, the judge said McKellar still very much understood what he had done and that it was wrong.
“Your client says ‘I was affected by drugs, I needed money to buy drugs, and I stole property to buy drugs’ –it’s a very coherent account of why he did it."
Judge Norrish sentenced McKeller to a total sentence of two years and nine month’s jail with a non-parole period of one year and one month.
Given that McKeller has been held in custody since last November, he will become eligible for parole in December.
With the possibility of parole only a few short months away, the judge left McKellar with a stern warning.
“If you commit offences whilst on parole, that could be revoked and you could find yourself back in custody,” he said.
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