Burglar behind bars

A BURGLAR whose crimes left his victims feeling anxious and frightened to leave their homes unattended will spend at least nine months behind bars.

Daniel Sanders, 27, yesterday listened to victim impact statements detailing how the owners of property he was found with were left reeling after discovering their homes had been burgled.

Sanders, who pleaded guilty to a string of charges, was sentenced to 16 months’ jail with a nine-month non-parole period.

The Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard Sanders was on bail after being found with a syringe full of heroin when he stole cash, jewellery and a passport from a San Mateo Avenue home in July.

Some of the items stolen from the house were later found in Sanders’ car by police outside his bail address a short time later.

Sanders resisted arrest when police found him at an Eleventh Street house on August 15.

The court heard he was wearing clothing and runners not belonging to him when he was found at the house, which he had ransacked, while jewellery and cash were found in his pockets.

Searches of two houses later turned up stolen items including jewellery, passports, personal papers, sporting memorabilia, laptops, a rifle scope and a stolen firearm.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Kristen Simm read out two victim impact statements to the court, including one from a man who said he was “distraught” to return home from work in the early hours of the morning to find his house had been broken into.

“Fortunately my children were at a sleepover at their grandparents’,” the victim impact statement read.

Another statement revealed money stolen from a couple’s home had been set aside for a new car and to celebrate a 40th birthday.

The theft left the couple out of pocket, “anxious and paranoid” and reluctant to socialise because they wanted to remain close to their home to monitor it.

The court heard Sanders had previously been placed on three community corrections orders, including one shortly before his latest offences, and had a “history of non-compliance”.

Sen Constable Simm said burglaries took a heavy emotional toll on victims and there was a community expectation breaches of court orders would lead to tougher sentences.

Defence counsel Peter Delorenzo said Sanders had mental health issues, including an anxiety disorder, and had previously been diagnosed with an acquired brain injury.

Magistrate Gregory McNamara said while Sanders had shown remorse, his offending warranted more time in prison.

“You’re not actually a bad person but you’ve done a lot of bad things,” he said.

Sanders was also fined $1200.

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