Serial burglar jailed for 4½ years
A serial thief who went on a burglary spree, smashing his way through gyprock to snatch cigarettes and sliding on floors to avoid sensors, has been jailed for 4½ years.
Nathan Daniel Booth already had 118 criminal offences on his record - including 21 burglaries - before his crime wave between July and September last year.
In the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday Acting Chief Justice Richard Refshauge sentenced Booth, and imposed a 2½-year non-parole period.
Booth, a drug addict aged 33 who apparently suffers from a cognitive impairment after being hit by a train a decade ago, will be eligible for parole in March 2014.
The prisoner pleaded guilty to six burglaries and thefts, as well as two property damage offences.
He also asked the judge to take into account other charges, including traffic offences stemming from a police pursuit.
Booth's spree began in July last year when he broke into a Chisholm florist and smashed through the gyprock wall into the cigarette cabinet of a neighbouring business, stealing tobacco worth more than $4000.
The next month he wrecked a shopping centre information display after a fight with his partner, causing more than $1000 damage.
In August he also broke into a kiosk, slid along the floor to avoid motion sensors and made off with $6000 cash in bags.
The same month he pushed $1000 worth of items including cooking utensils out of Westfields Belconnen in a shopping trolley.
In September he struck a Tuggeranong Hyperdome loading dock three times in the same day, using trolleys to wheel away property worth more than $59,000.
Later that month he raided a Belconnen medical centre, stealing a safe full of medication.
And he pulled off another heist on the Belconnen Westfields mall, using ''a large amount of force'' to make off with a change machine.
He led police on a brief chase through Scullin on September 10, eventually dumping the car in a backyard. Booth also pleaded guilty to robbing a Scullin home on the same day, stealing jewellery and electronic goods.
The court heard Booth had struggled with substance abuse - using heroin, amphetamine, inhalants, cannabis and alcohol - for most of his life.
The authors of a pre-sentence report described Booth as at high risk of reoffending if he could not control his addiction.
Justice Refshauge said Booth's crimes revealed few mitigating circumstances, but were aggravated by the fact he was on a good-behaviour order at the time.
The judge said there was no doubt drug addiction could have a ''pernicious and tenacious hold'' on the community, but noted burglary was a serious offence.
He told Booth the sentence he imposed gave him the opportunity to join the Alexander Maconochie Centre's Solaris rehabilitation program.