Serial Ballarat burglar re-offends again

A BALLARAT man released from jail in January after serving 18 months for burglary and theft has again been charged over a series of burglaries and thefts around Ballarat, a court has heard. 

Craig Kemp, 40, appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday where he was bailed on his own undertaking. 

The court heard Kemp was caught breaching bail conditions, including his curfew, last Saturday, August 16, when he was intercepted in Macarthur Street about 11.30pm for driving erratically. 

Police informant Constable Jason Reece said police saw Kemp driving with a blown rear tyre and that the car had allegedly being used in a series of recent burglaries around Ballarat. 

The informant said police believed Kemp and another male in the car, Brendan Collins, had allegedly been “casing” houses which they could later burgle.

Constable Reece said the charges included contravening a bail condition and unlicensed driving, while the court heard Kemp is already on bail for a long list of charges including burglary and shop-theft. 

“The accused is showing no remorse for his actions,” Constable Reece said. 

“(He has) no regard for the safety of the public.”

Meticulously cross-examined by Kemp’s defence lawyer, Mike Wardell, Constable Reece admitted some aspects of the case against Kemp were still being investigated. 

This included claims that the car was the same one being used in alleged burglaries around the area. 

Mr Wardell said Kemp had an acquired brain injury and epilepsy, adding this incident would serve as a valuable lesson to obey his bail conditions. 

Kemp was bailed by magistrate Cynthia Toose. 

He must obey a night-time curfew, not drive, not contact Mr Collins and report to police three times a week. 

He will reappear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on September 15.