Alleged burglar kept in custody

A MAGISTRATE has refused to release a Mildura man charged over a commercial burglary he allegedly committed while on bail.

Luke Pinjuh, 24, yesterday faced the Mildura Magistrates’ Court to apply for bail, claiming he needed to be released to take care of his young daughter.

The court heard Pinjuh was arrested and charged late last month over an alleged burglary at Quick-Fix Motorcycles on May 9, in which some items and almost $3000 cash were stolen.

Detective Senior Constable Sean Coleby told the court one of Pinjuh’s co-accused had made a statement implicating him in the burglary, while evidence from CCTV footage would also be used against him.

Det Sen-Constable Coleby said the co-accused had claimed Pinjuh sold the drug ice to him.

Pinjuh yesterday denied involvement in the burglary, telling Magistrate Pauline Spencer he had not left his house on the night in question.

Pinjuh was on bail at the time of the alleged burglary and subject to a curfew.

Pinjuh’s mother told the court she “would say 110 per cent he has not left the house to go anywhere after nine o’clock” but conceded it was possible for Pinjuh to leave the home at night without her attention.

The court heard Pinjuh was sole carer for his almost two-year-old daughter, who was in the care of other relatives while he was in custody.

However, Ms Spencer said it was not a compelling enough reason for Pinjuh to be released, given the seriousness of the charges and the evidence against him.

Under new bail laws which took effect in Victoria late last month, people facing serious criminal charges must convince magistrates there are compelling reasons for them to be released.

Pinjuh was remanded to reappear in court later this month.

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