Forgotten burglary leads to jail time

A MAN who claimed he could not remember burgling a house in October last year was yesterday sentenced to nine months in prison.

Jake Wakelin, 19, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to eight charges related to a home burglary in Sebastopol.

The court heard Wakelin broke into a home through a bedroom window in October last year, stealing about $4500 in equipment.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said Wakelin stole two televisions, jewellery, a laptop and a range of power and hand tools.

Senior Constable Kent said Wakelin drove away from the scene in his Hyundai Excel, despite not holding a valid drivers licence.

Crime scene investigators later found Wakelin’s fingerprints from where he forced entry and on a jewellery box inside the house. 

On October 30, police executed a search warrant at the house of Wakelin’s grandmother in Delacombe, where he was living at the time. 

There, they found some of the items stolen from the Sebastopol house, as well as a range of other stolen items.

Senior Constable Kent said Wakelin was arrested at the scene and later told police he had no recollection of committing the burglary just three days earlier.

“He said he was on heavy medication and couldn’t remember (the) Sunday,” Senior Constable Kent said.

Wakelin has been held in custody since his arrest.

Defence lawyer Stephen Payne said his client was “thriving” in prison, having come clean off drugs and alcohol. In sentencing, Magistrate Frank Jones commented that Wakelin appeared to be in good health and was showing signs of rehabilitation.

“Staying off the drugs does marvellous things doesn’t it. Lets hope you can stay off it,” Mr Jones said.

Wakelin was fined $500 and sentenced to nine months prison and is expected to face further charges June over another incident.

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