"STRIKING at the heart of the community" was how a magistrate described the actions of a man who committed premeditated, sophisticated crimes against Wagga City Council just after Christmas in 2017.
Billy Spicer, 24, of Tolland, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Monday where he was jailed for 14 months after breaking in to two city council buildings and stealing $3316.
Spicer, who works as a painter, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated break and enter in company to steal.
Police documents tendered the court state that Spicer and Harley Shane Peter Green, 28, broke into the visitor information centre then the council chambers between 2.45am and 3.30am on December 26, 2017.
The pair had acquired the swipe cards and documents with information about security access codes and the layout of the buildings from a council contract cleaner who lived with a man Spicer knew.
On the morning of the offences, Spicer and Green took a taxi to the visitor centre and gained entry.
While inside, they deactivated the alarm system using the security codes before accessing the main safe to steal $2442.
CCTV footage captured the incident, which showed that both offenders knew where the safe keys were located inside the building.
They then went to the council chambers and deactivated the alarm before stealing $874 from the cash registers.
In court on Monday, defence solicitor Max Staples argued for the custodial sentence to be served via community service.
"My submission is that the objective seriousness is at or below the midpoint," Mr Staples said.
"The reasons the court might consider the alternative ICO with very strict conditions is the relatively young age of Mr Spicer, the fact he can maintain employment and his relatively limited [criminal] record.
"And if he receives his sentence in the community, there'll be more capacity to rehabilitate."
However, magistrate Christopher Halburd said full-time detention was "more likely to address your offending".
"It's simply not appropriate to engage in this sort of behaviour," he said.
"You've expressed to your employer your remorse, but that's hardly consistent with the sentence assessment report, which indicates you minimised your behaviour initially by claiming that the keys to the tourist centre were given to you and your co-offender."
Spicer will be eligible for parole in November 2019.
Green, who had pleaded not guilty to charges but was convicted, will be sentenced at a later date.
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