12 months’ jail in Victoria, then charges to face in NSW

NSW police will have to wait at least a year before being able to take action against a serial burglar over his $100,000 haul.

Daniel Neall has been sentenced to two years’ jail for break-ins he committed in Wodonga during his cross-border spree.

He must spend at least 12 months behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

The sentence was handed down in Wodonga Court by magistrate Susan Armour, who made Neall wait an extra day for her decision after hearing the case earlier this week.

Victorian detectives valued the goods Neall stole from several Wodonga premises at $41,670, with the balance from NSW burglaries still being investigated by NSW police.

The court was told that Neall’s chronic addiction to the drug ice fuelled his crime spree.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to 22 charges over the burglaries he committed between June and December last year, along with an additional count of breaching a community corrections order.

Four charges related to a $4150 break-in at Albury Wodonga RV World in Melrose Drive, Wodonga, in late December in which Neall stole CD players, a television and “a substantial amount of cash”.

His haul from another Wodonga business two weeks earlier netted him goods valued at $5000 and he stole tools valued at $1750 from a shipping container at the old Wodonga Bunnings building — which was being demolished — in early November

Another construction site break-in on July 31 netted him goods valued at $3500.

His biggest haul was from the $25 million Quest building project in Elgin Boulevard, near the Wodonga police station, where he stole power tools and computers worth $25,500.

Project drawings from a briefcase that had been in a safe in the site office were found by police at his Colombera Crescent flat, which was full of stolen goods, including jewellery.

Before sentencing Neall, Ms Armour had told his solicitor, Mario Vaccaro, that his client was clearly in line for time behind bars.

Mr Vaccaro accepted Neall had taken part in “prolific offending over a period of time” and said his 32 days in custody since his arrest had allowed him to kick his drug addiction.

The court was told Neall had previously got off heroin and had remained clean of the drug for 18 months before a new circle of friends introduced him to methamphetamine.

Pointing to Neal’s partner and their 22-month-old child and his 10-year-old stepdaughter in court, Mr Vaccaro said his client had a strong motivation to stay drug-free for a second time.