15 month jail sentence for man who left pubic hair at crime scene

The Supreme Court, in Burnie.
The Supreme Court, in Burnie.

A man who drank beer and used the toilet in a house he broke into will spend at least nine months in jail.

Benjamin James Wright broke into the Devonport residence on October 15 last year, and was inside for about an hour.

On Tuesday afternoon, Justice Michael Brett sentenced Wright to 15 months jail but suspended the final six.

Wright, who appeared via video link, had pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated burglary and stealing.

The court earlier heard Wright waved at a neighbour and petted a dog while approaching the house, at about 9.45am on the morning of the incident.

He entered the house, changed from his own clothes into clothes he found in the house, helped himself to beer from the fridge and went to the toilet.

The 30-year-old stole goods including electronics, cash, tools, clothes, food, jewellery and more, at a value of $29,504.

Wright also attempted to steal other goods, but appeared to have been interrupted when a child who lived in the house returned to pick up a wallet.

He left behind a bag containing medication, Carlton Football Club memorabilia and other items.

Police later detected Wright’s DNA on the beer cans and a pubic hair in the toilet.

He was unknown to the residents of the house.

Defence counsel Julia Ker, who appeared for Wright in the Supreme Court, in Burnie, earlier this month, said drug use was an issue for her client at the time of the incident.

She said Wright had been under significant stress at the time, and had a “fairly limited recollection” of the offending.

A father and stepfather, Wright had been managing a roofing business and had bought a landscaping business around the time of the offending.

In passing sentence, Justice Brett said the break-in was a “shocking invasion” of the family’s security.

He said Wright did not cooperate with police, declined to be interviewed and none of the stolen property has been recovered.

He described Wright’s conduct as “deliberate and methodical.”

Justice Brett said although Wright entered a guilty plea, it was at a late stage and seemed to be in response to the strong case presented by the prosecution.

The sentence was backdated to November 17.