A father of three who went on a six-month crime spree filled with assaults, drugs and thefts was jailed for almost two years yesterday.
Alfredton’s Heath Shepherd, 33, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, pleading guilty to 18 charges including aggravated burglary, recklessly causing serious injury and trafficking amphetamines.
The court heard Shepherd’s offending came to a head on December 18 last year, after he had already missed two court appearances for previous offences.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent told the court that on that date Shepherd and a group of other men approached a property in Marigold Street, Wendouree.
There, a car differential was thrown through a front window where two children aged four and 13 were sleeping, before the group was eventually allowed through the front door.
Shepherd had attended the house on suspicion one of the occupants had stolen $15,000 in cigarettes from his grandfather’s service station.
While at the house, he punched one of the victims in the face and smashed windows at the house and the windscreen of a car on the property.
Defence lawyer Scott Belcher conceded his client he done the wrong thing and that he had pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.
“He has gone about things the wrong way. It would have been far more simple to use police rather than confront the occupants of the house,” said Mr Belcher.
Earlier in the year, Shepherd had been found in possession of drugs, caught stealing a laptop and a cash register from the Thirsty Camel bottle shop in Alfredton and had twice been caught driving unlicensed.
His offending started in March, with a search on his mother’s house, where a small quantity of drugs was found in his caravan.
In sentencing, magistrate Kay Robertson said Shepherd’s offending, particularly the aggravated burglary at the Wendouree house, could not be tolerated.
“The circumstances given by you is no excuse,” she said.
“We have a police force whose job it is to enforce the law.
“Clearly your life has been out of control in the last six months.”
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, with a non-parole period of 10 months, and was also fined $800 and ordered to pay compensation costs of $1500.