Judge lectures on true value of wedding rings

A BURGLAR jailed for stealing almost $90,000 in goods from a Warwick jewellery store has almost doubled his sentence after committing more offences within six weeks of his release.

The man, only known as MDA in a sentencing decision published last week, was this time sentenced to six and a half years in jail for a $112,000 burglary, with insurance not covering almost $90,000 of that.

Judge Ian Dearden lectured the 25-year-old crim at sentence that he needed to understand the true value of jewellery he had stolen.

“The property you took was very high value property and I’ve got no doubt that the loss of that property has caused significant heartache for the family concerned,” he said.

“But the thing that seems to have caused the most stress is the loss of jewellery which has not only financial value but personal value.

“I don’t know whether you can see from there, but that’s my wedding ring,” he said.

“It’s never going to be stolen because I can’t actually get it off my ring finger.

“But the thing about that ring … that ring has my heart in it; it has nearly 30 years of marriage in it and if it was taken it wouldn’t be its value, which is modest. It would be its significance; the fact that it has my heart, my life and things that are extraordinarily important to me way more than money – way more than value.

“That’s what you do when you steal jewellery.”

Judge Dearden said if MDA wanted to commit to his “beautiful girlfriend”, they would share the same hopes and dreams as many others.

“That’s about love. That’s about the ability of someone to give you their heart and you – your heart to them, I hope,” he said.

“You have a hope that in time you will make a home, that you will sustain a relationship and that you will have children.”

But Judge Dearden said MDA could only achieve his wonderful goals if he dealt with his drug addiction and stopped returning to crime.

MDA also pleaded guilty to stealing and dangerously using a car, failing to stop for police and other dishonesty and traffic offences.

His offending breached a sentence imposed in 2014 where he was ordered to serve 10 months of a three and a half year sentence for breaking into Prouds in Warwick.

Judge Dearden said he would normally make the sentences cumulative but he had to look at the big picture, including the man’s age, in making them run concurrently.

MDA had already served 537 days pre-sentence custody when he was sentenced.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years for driving while already disqualified. – ARM NEWSDESK