Break-ins funded career criminal's drug habit, court told

AN ICE-using career criminal, who has been involved in more than 100 burglaries, was sentenced to 12 months’ jail at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday. 

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Daniel Scicluna, 34, was convicted of breaking into and robbing five houses in six days last November to fund his drug habit. 

In sentencing serial burglar Scicluna, magistrate Michelle Hodgson was damning of the recurrent nature of his offences. 

“You’ve had in excess of 100 prior appearances for burglary alone,” Ms Hodgson said. 

“It’s important to send a clear message to say incidents like this must have a jail sentence.”

Ms Hodgson said on a stand-alone basis, the crimes were “serious incursions into people’s homes”.

Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Ivan Blomeley read out police informant Senior Constable Neville Leishman’s statement, which said Scicluna “ransacked” houses between November 25 and 30, stealing jewellery, electrical items, cash and alcohol. 

Police believed the total value of all stolen items and cash at the five properties was $4170.

The court heard Scicluna was apprehended by police on December 1 and stated during the resulting interview he “was struggling with an addiction to the drug ice” and “was committing burglaries to support his habit”. 

Senior Constable Leishman’s statement went on to say “the accused was remorseful during the interview, stating that it was a dog’s act and he felt like a dog”. 

The court heard Scicluna directed police to an address where some of the stolen items were located, however, the majority of items were not recovered.

Scicluna, of Delacombe, was jailed for 15 months in March 2012 after breaking into and ransacking two Ballarat homes.

At the time Scicluna, described by then lawyer Mike Wardell as having one of the worst criminal records of any person, had at least 87 prior convictions. 

Defence lawyer Jeremy Harper said Scicluna had attended rehabilitation programs and urged Ms Hodgson not to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

Ms Hodgson said at Scicluna’s age, perhaps he was starting to see the error of his ways, however his prior criminal history was deemed to be sufficient to impose a fixed jail term. 

Scicluna appealed the sentence and was bailed to appear at the County Court in Ballarat on a date to be