Teen cries during sentencing

AN Albury teenager and his family cried during his sentencing at Wodonga Magistrates’ Court yesterday for three aggravated burglaries.

Magistrate Susan Armour sentenced Jevon Mastenbroek to 18 months’ jail with a nine-month non-parole period.

When solicitor Mario Vaccaro told Ms Armour that four of Mastenbroek’s friends had killed themselves in the past few years, the teenager began to cry. His friends and family also cried.

Mr Vaccaro said Mastenbroek had been diagnosed with depression and prescribed medication.

Ms Armour took into account his illness but she said the impact of aggravated burglaries should not be underestimated.

The court heard Mastenbroek had been found guilty several times for similar offences.

Ms Armour said it was important to deter him and others committing the same crime.

It was a crime, she said, that significantly increased the potential for “ugly confrontation”.

“The community abhors this type of offending,” she said.

Mastenbroek pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated burglary and two charges of theft of a motor vehicle.

Prosecutor Sen-Constable Wayne Taylor said Mastenbroek and another man had broken into a home in Falcon Circuit in West Wodonga, on November 11 while a family slept.

The pair stole two cars, wallets, cash, mobile phones and a laptop.

Mastenbroek also broke into a home in Murra Court, Kiewa, on November 23 and stole another car.

He also robbed a home in Lawrence Street, Wodonga, on August 2.

Ms Armour said the sentence was an opportunity for change.

“You’re in a situation where you can make better choices,” she said.

“The choice is yours. Ultimately you are responsible for your life.”

A young woman made a love heart with her fingers to Mastenbroek. Mastenbroek returned the symbol before he was led away by police.