Portland thief has sentence reduced

A PORTLAND man who stole a safe from his parents’ home while they were on holidays has had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Andrew Ryan, 26, of Coolibah Court, appealed against the conviction and severity of a five-month jail term he previously received in the Portland Magistrates Court.

In the Warrnambool County Court this week he dropped the appeal against convictions but continued the appeal against the severity of his sentence on a reduced number of charges.

The main charges of burglary and theft were withdrawn by the prosecution while charges of burglary, possessing the proceeds of crime and two counts of theft proceeded. 

Judge Paul Grant imposed a 12-month community corrections order with the condition Ryan complete 120 hours  of community work.

Crown prosecutor David O’Doherty told the court that overnight on April 2, 2012, Ryan’s parents — the owners of a house in Portland’s Banksia Court — were on holidays in Tasmania.

In a walk-in robe there was a safe containing ammunition and an envelope with $150. The safe was removed.

On May 3 that year police executed a search warrant at Ryan’s Coolibah Court address where they found medication, three mobile telephones and SIM cards.

During an interview with police Ryan said he drove to his parents’ home with an accomplice with the intention of stealing money, knowing his parents were in Tasmania.

Ryan unlocked a door with a key, took the safe and later unscrewed screws to open the rear of the safe.

He took the money inside and used some of it to buy cannabis.

On April 4, 2012, Ryan was at a home in Portland’s Oswald Street. 

He claims he gave someone $250 to buy drugs and when that money was not returned after a drug trip fell through Ryan took a mobile telephone, which he later gave to his sister. 

Ryan’s father handed the phone in to police, believing it was stolen.

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