News

Magistrate scolds alleged thief for stealing from family

By Myles Peterson

A man, 26, appeared before Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing 18 charges including theft, trespass, burglary and methamphetamine possession.

Ryan Webster-Mill of Shepparton was accused of using a security fob to gain access to the Gowrie Street School in January last year to steal a number of iPad minis and other electronic equipment.

The fob was obtained from a family member, documents tendered to the court stated.

Some of the iPad minis were allegedly sold for between $120 and $150 using Facebook and Gumtree after a police investigation tracked the electronic goods down using serial numbers.

The total value of the theft was put at $30000 according to court documents.

Other alleged thefts included $1000 stolen from a vending machine and a yellow ‘‘jemmy bar’’ allegedly stolen from a neighbour of the accused.

Magistrate John Murphy reserved his harshest criticism for an alleged theft of items stolen from the accused’s brother.

‘‘What a low act to thieve from your brother,’’ Mr Murphy said.

In May last year, Mr Webster-Mill allegedly stole his brother’s BMX bike, tools, a cash tin containing $1000, an XBox gaming console and six XBox games.

The accused spent 39 days in custody prior to yesterday’s hearing the court was told as a result of breaching bail conditions.

Prosecutor Kevin Taggart told the court the offending lacked sophistication, with the accused leaving finger-prints at one scene and showing as clearly identifiable on CCTV at another.

Defence lawyer Luke Slater said Mr Webster-Mill had been badly drug affected.

‘‘Your honour, this is probably a classic situation, a classic example of how low things can get in someone’s life,’’ Mr Slater told the court.

‘‘He accepts that ice completely took control of him.’’

Mr Murphy released the accused ahead of sentencing later this year but warned Mr Webster-Mill if he offended again or failed an illicit drug test, he would go to jail.

‘‘I’ll tell you this lad, if you stuff up you’re going in,’’ Mr Murphy said.