Jail for golf club break-in

BALACLAVA-clad thief Simon John Garsed will spend six months in jail over his bungled attempt to rob the Tocumwal Golf Club last year.

Garsed, 34, of Piggin Court, Corowa, appeared for sentencing in the District Court at Albury yesterday after previously pleading guilty to aggravated break and enter with intent in company.

Judge Chris Robison took into account a charge of possessing housebreaking implements.

Solicitor Tim Hemsley suggested an appropriate sentence for Garsed would be 300 hours community service.

Mr Hemsley said Garsed could work one day each week and the hours would be completed in just over 10 months.

Judge Robison rejected the submission and jailed Garsed for 18 months, with a minimum of six months.

Garsed went to the club with Christopher Glare and Daniel Brown on October 19, intending to steal poker machine money.

Glare and Brown had made a failed attempt the previous night, but fled empty-handed after one fell through a false ceiling and activated an alarm.

Two uniformed police had the club under surveillance, anticipating the offenders might return.

A number of similar incidents had previously happened at other local clubs, with offenders hitting on successive nights.

The officers saw Garsed’s car arrive and tried to avoid detection by moving to another location.

While they were moving, the officers were seen, though not identified as police, and Garsed drove off, coming back later.

Glare and Garsed went to a locked emergency fire exit with Brown staying at the car to keep watch.

A jemmy bar was used to break the seal on the exit and Garsed opened the door.

Both men wore balaclavas to hide their identity and soon afterwards police entered the club to arrest them.

Garsed and Glare had a black bag that contained gloves, jemmy bars, a hammer, screwdrivers, a hand-held radio, torches, laser pointer and other tools, which they admitted intending to use.

Glare has since been charged with a large number of offences after an alleged crime spree in Victoria and NSW.

He remains in custody on remand at Junee.

Brown has disappeared.