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Burglar goes free, to rehabilitate

Date

Michael Inman

A man who helped steal $15,000 worth of property in a burglary will serve no more time in jail.

Stefan Michael John had already spent eight months behind bars for his part in the burglary but will have the remaining 16 months of a two-year jail sentence hanging over his head for the next few years.

John appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for aggravated burglary and theft.

The court heard, in a sentencing hearing, John and two co-offenders broke into a home and stole $15,000 worth of property, including electronics and passports.

When confronted by police, John admitted to his part in the crime.

The Crown pushed for a term of imprisonment. The prosecution lawyer said many of the items stolen, including passports and marriage and birth certificates, were difficult to replace. But the defence said John had shown a strong degree of remorse.

Justice John Burns acknowledged a psychiatric report that stated the 20-year-old was vulnerable to disruption in his life and had limited adult supervision at the time of the burglary and theft.

But Justice Burns also noted the offence took place four months after John had entered a three-year good behaviour bond.

The judge took into account the time spent in custody and that the accused had entered self-improvement programs while in jail.

He said the prospect of rehabilitation was a significant sentencing consideration.

Justice Burns sentenced John to two years' jail, which was backdated to April 20 this year, with the remaining 16 months suspended from Wednesday.

John was ordered to pay $1000 surety , enter a three-year good behaviour order and reside with his mother in NSW and accept supervision of ACT Corrections.

The judge told John it was the second time within one year he had been given a chance: "There will be no third opportunity . . just prison," Justice Burns said.

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