The Supreme Court has a real thigh slapper in the matter of Dylan Ross who’s getting one last chance to get off the Ice.
The offences were committed early in the morning of 18 March 2011 when Mr Ross and an unknown co-offender broke into the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club in Yarralumla by using a sledgehammer to smash a lower pane of the glass entry doors. They then entered the club through the broken window, and used the sledgehammer to detach a small wall?safe, which they then removed. The forced entry required repair of the door at a cost of $270, but the safe was empty and was, itself, old and no longer in use.
Mr Ross was identified in connection with these offences as a result of DNA testing as part of a back-capture project to match DNA information connected with older offences with DNA information obtained from more recent offenders. The DNA match was obtained in May 2011, but further investigations delayed the issue of a summons until late January this year.
Mr Ross was summonsed to appear in the Magistrates Court on 15 March 2012, pleaded guilty to the charge in that court at the case management hearing on 24 May 2012 and was committed to this Court for sentence.
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These were fairly routine examples of the relevant offences. The statutory aggravating feature of the burglary was that it was committed in company. It was a less serious example of a burglary offence, given that it was committed in commercial (or at least not domestic) premises at a time when they were unlikely to be occupied. The theft was a very unsuccessful activity, netting as it did only an old empty safe.
Mr Ross says that the fact that he was wearing shorts suggests that he was not planning to commit the offence (apparently because shorts were inappropriate for crawling through broken windows), but he provided no explanation for the presence of the sledgehammer.
Mr Ross says that, on the night of the burglary, he was probably drug-affected and hoped to obtain cash to fund his Ice use. Mr Ross did not express any remorse as such to the Pre-Sentence Report author. He did, however, acknowledge the seriousness of his offences and that he was “an idiot” for taking part in them.
And then there’s the matter of his domestic arrangements:
It seems that Mr Ross is currently living with, and largely financially dependent on, his mother, but there was vague mention of a proposal for Mr Ross to move to Brisbane and live with an uncle to get him away from his criminal associates in Canberra.
Mr Ross has been using alcohol and illicit drugs since his early teens, and continues to use cannabis and methylamphetamine. As well, he has a gambling addiction, and between gambling and drug abuse, any income he achieves, whether from his intermittent employment or elsewhere, is quickly dissipated, leaving him unable to meet his day-to-day expenses such as running his car. It seems also that Mr Ross’s mother has recently paid off a significant debt he owed to a drug dealer.
That must be some breakfast in bed he puts together on Mothers’ Day.