Footprints lead to jail

A MAN who broke into several homes across Mildura in recent weeks, while he was already on a corrections order for aggravated burglary, will spend at least nine months behind bars.

Steven Pappin, 20, pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated burglary and three counts of burglary in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The string of break-ins began on September 9, when Pappin gained entry to an Eleventh Street property by kicking in a back door.

He ransacked the house and left with $500 worth of jewellery.

The court heard Pappin broke into a San Mateo Avenue unit on September 25, when the victim was in a bathroom at the time and assumed noises she heard to be her husband.

Pappin removed a purse, a phoneand handbags from a room of the unit.

Crime scene officers identified a foot print from the door of the property, which Pappin had kicked in to gain entry.

Pappin committed further break-ins over the following days, the court heard, including at a Cureton Avenue home where he stole cash, another San Mateo property which he ransacked to take wallets, bank cards, cash, a phone and a passport, and a Magnolia Avenue home.

Pappin broke into an Orange Avenue address on September 30 while an occupant was home studying and smashed a glass sliding door to gain entry to a Fourteenth Street property the following day while its occupant was sleeping.

The court heard Pappin was confronted by the occupant of an Acacia Court home he broke into on October 2.

Police were called after he left the premises and Pappin was eventually found at the nearby Apco service station on Deakin Avenue and arrested.

Shoes seized from him at the time matched footprints from the doors that were kicked in at the various burglaries.

Defence counsel Peter Delorenzo said Pappin had battled homelessness and asked magistrate Michael Coghlan to consider giving him another chance on a community corrections order, upon his release from prison.

However, Mr Coghlan said the offending was too serious and told Pappin his crimes would have been “very frightening and distressing” for the victims.

Mr Coghlan said Pappin was “fortunate not have been charged with a number of additional thefts” given the police summary indicated he had taken property from the homes.

Pappin was sentenced to a total of 16 months’ jail, with a non-parole period of nine months.

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