Man jailed over farm theft spree

A MAN who was involved in a string of farm burglaries worth about $135,000 when he relapsed into ice use has been sentenced to 18 months’ prison.

Luke Parfrey, 32, of Robinvale, pleaded guilty to a number of theft and burglary charges in the County Court.

His co-accused, Matthew Kitt, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court  and will be sentenced in the County Court at a later date. 

A sentencing hearing for Parfrey yesterday heard between December 2015 and April 2016 he was involved in the criminal enterprise targeting mostly properties in Robinvale, Swan Hill and the greater Sunraysia region.

The court heard Kitt was the main offender in the ongoing thefts, stealing vehicles, farm machinery and tractors.

Judge Michael Bourke said Parfrey grew up in Robinvale and his schooling was “not successful”.

Parfrey had battled drug and alcohol issues, having taken cannabis since he was about 14 and starting to take the drug ice in his 20s, the court heard. 

He had acquired brain injury, which developed because of his alcohol abuse. The court heard after a chance meeting with Kitt, Parfrey relapsed into drug use, the context in which the offending occurred. 

Judge Bourke said he believed Parfrey had some prospects of rehabilitation and his family and partner were supportive of him.

He sentenced Parfrey to 18 months’ prison to be followed by a two-year community corrections order with 300 hours of community work. 

Having already served almost a year, Parfrey will be eligible for release in about seven months. 

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