A WARRNAMBOOL man who got hooked on ice and went on a nine-week crime spree involving home break-ins has been jailed for five months.
Matthew Malady, 28, of Jetty Lane, Warrnambool, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court charged with almost 40 offences.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Malady's offending mostly relating to burglaries and thefts which he committed between mid June and the end of July while in the grip of an ice addiction.
She said he had been a hard worker with a limited criminal history but once he started using ice his life spun out of control.
The magistrate said when arrested Malady had a range of stolen items in his car including a number of laptop computers which held victims' work and personal details and irreplaceable items of sentimental value.
Ms Toose said Malady stole bank cards and used one card 122 times to buy non-essential items.
She said the home beak-ins would have been terrifying for the victims, especially when Malady returned to one property twice in consecutive days.
"I understand you were in the grip of an ice addiction but this was an epidemic of offending and the community is well and truly over such behaviour," she said.
"It was sustained offending and a clear deterrence message has to be sent to the general community," she said.
Malady was jailed for five months with 81 days already counted as served.
The magistrate said it was not a crushing sentence but designed to allow Malady to dry out. and participate on a community corrections order with conditions he do assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and programs as requested.
The corrections order starts when he is released from jail.
Previously police said Malady had been involved in about 10 criminal incidents involving thefts from cars and home break-ins during which Malady would steal anything of value, such as laptop computers and bank cards.
He was also involved in stealing cars.
Defence counsel Jack Rabl said all the offending was committed in nine weeks of intense offending.
Ms Toose labelled the offending saturated and said people were entitled to leave their vehicles and expect them to be in the same condition the next day.
She said 81 days in custody was simply not enough time in prison but she agreed that Malady was an excellent candidate to take part in a CCO.
"It's clear he has become addicted to methamphetamine, the scourge of our community, and has hit rock bottom," Ms Toose said.