A Ballarat man who ransacked his grandfather’s house before stealing his police medals and guns has been sentenced to almost two years behind bars.
Darcy Lee Kroezen, 28, appeared in the dock of the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court flanked by two police officers on Tuesday.
He pleaded guilty to a string of serious offences committed over the past two years, including recklessly causing injury and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
The court was told Kroezen broke into his grandfather’s home and ransacked the property in September last year, finding a key to a safe and stealing two rifles.
He also stole his grandfather’s police medals before fleeing the scene.
Later, police executed a search warrant and recovered the medals but were unable to locate the two stolen guns.
His relationship with his grandfather is damaged beyond repair given his actionsDarcy Lee Kroezen's defence lawyer
Kroezen was eventually arrested and taken into custody on October 4, remaining behind bars until Tuesday’s court appearance.
His defence lawyer said Kroezen was at his lowest ebb at the time of the burglary after spiralling into drug abuse following a break-up with a former girlfriend.
“His relationship with his grandfather is damaged beyond repair given his actions,” he said.
However, the lawyer also said Kroezen had since been offered work in Queensland and wanted to start afresh with his new partner, who was in court to support him.
“He’s had a sharp awakening at his lack of control when taking drugs.”
Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic sentenced Kroezen to 22 months jail with a non-parole period of 15 months and 162 days counted as already served, saying she was pleased he had a goal of gaining employment in Queensland.
“You’re not going to get to that dream in the future unless you make promises to yourself and keep those promises,” she said.
He would have been jailed for 30 months with a non-parole period of 22 months if he had pleaded not guilty.
Kroezen said “I love you” to his girlfriend as the two police officers led him back into the cells.