Man, 71, destroyed cemetery locks to visit mum's grave

AN elderly Creswick man who repeatedly destroyed padlocks on gates at a public cemetery to visit his dead mother’s grave received a good behaviour bond on Thursday. 

File image

File image

Luka Poljak, 71, pleaded guilty to seven charges of intentionally destroying property after breaking into Elaine public cemetery on six times over two months last year. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown told the Ballarat Magistrates Court Poljak destroyed padlocks on cemetery gates with hammers and glue last September, causing $2500 worth of damage. 

Senior Constable Brown said on his last visit to the cemetery, Mr Poljak used a chainsaw to cut down a power pole mounted with a security camera.

The court heard when interviewed by police, Poljak admitted to cutting the power pole after being told he had been filmed by the security camera.

“That was my revenge (for being filmed). It was a stupid mistake,” Poljak said in his police interview.  Poljak also destroyed the cemetery noticeboard because he did not agree with items featured on it. 

Defence lawyer Hamish Lock said Poljak’s crime’s were driven by grief.

Poljak, who spent 20 years on the cemetery’s board of trustees and resigned three years ago, was in “considerable pain” after not being able to visit his mother, Mr Lock said. 

Magistrate Cynthia Toose said: “I think it’s really sad you have come into court to face charges in relation to your dead mother.”

However, Ms Toose said she had to balance his grief against the damage caused. 

“Cemeteries are precious places to many people and for you to act as you have is very unfortunate at your age,” she said. 

“In this day and age, it’s sad that a cemetery needs to be locked but there are vandals that cause damage.” 

Poljak received an adjourned undertaking until August 6, 2015.  Ms Toose said if Poljak committed any further acts against the cemetery during the next year he would be resentenced.