Just before a magistrate jailed a recidivist offender for breaking into a person’s home and raiding their bedroom while they were sleeping, she warned him that “quite frankly, you’re in for a pretty hefty whack”.
But Shaun Kenneth Collins, 34, had already told her he was “happy to take the consequences” for his actions.
On Wednesday (29 June), the ACT Magistrates Court heard Collins had already been in custody for six months and a pre-sentence report stated he had been subjected to disciplinary actions due to his behaviour, but he argued he hadn’t been “repeatedly stuffing up”.
“I got jumped by three inmates and it didn’t end well for them,” he said.
He did admit holding a syringe at one point while being locked up, but said he hadn’t lit his cell on fire.
“I lit myself on fire,” he said.
Court documents revealed Collins climbed through the window of a sleeping man’s home in Campbell on 19 October 2021, went into the bedroom while the man was still asleep and stole a wallet, bank card, passport and car keys.
He used the keys to steal a Fiat 500 and drove between the ACT and NSW making several transactions with the bank card, including spending $18 at Queanbeyan’s McDonalds.
The man reported the burglary to police and officers spotted his car several days later on Long Gully Road in Isaacs, but as they approached they saw someone run away from it into the bush.
Police raided Collins’ home in Oaks Estate in December, where they found a conducted energy weapon disguised as a large garage remote.
Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter said Collins’ fingerprints were found on the windowsill of the home in Campbell and closed-circuit television footage showed him using the car.
She spent some time reading out his “appalling” criminal history, including how she herself had jailed him before, and said he had issues with drug use while many of his friends appeared to be in the criminal justice system.
However, she also said “it seems to me that you’re finally making a break-through”, partly due to how he was trying to get help for substance use issues.
Collins, who is a qualified tiler, pleaded guilty to six charges over these recent incidents, which included charges of burglary, theft, taking a motor vehicle without authority and unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon.
“I’m just sorry for what I’ve done and am willing to take full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
Special Magistrate Hunter sentenced him to 20 months’ jail backdated to his arrest in December 2021, with a non-parole period of 12 months that means he is eligible to be released in time for Christmas 2022.