Jail for jewellery thief who left blood on broken glass

A BALLARAT man who used a rock to smash a hole in the window of the Allan Bros jewellery store in Sturt Street, stealing more than $1000 worth of watches, has been jailed for three months. 

Peter Aitken, 53, a career criminal with more than 12 pages of prior convictions for burglary, theft and dishonesty offences, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a string of fresh charges. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble told the court Aitken, who had been living at Reid’s Guest House in Lydiard Street North, walked to Allan Bros about 6.30am on August 19 last year and used a rock to smash a hole in a window. 

Senior Constable Prebble said Aitken reached in and stole six watches. 

The court heard he cut himself on the broken glass, leaving traces of blood, which were later matched with his. 

Senior Constable Prebble said on another occasion in December last year, Aitken was caught stealing a bracelet, underwear and socks from Ballarat’s Target store.

Aitken’s defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client had had a difficult upbringing, coupled with drug dependency for most of his life.

Mr Tamanika said Aitken had used cannabis and amphetamines since the age of 16 and had quickly progressed to harder drugs.

He said it was when Aitken began using harder drugs that the dishonesty offences began. 

Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Aitken had offended “consistently and systematically” for most of his life, adding the community would demand immediate jail.

Ms Toose said Aitken had been jailed in 2012, but started offending again shortly after his release.

Aitken was jailed for three months.