Lismore forensic police test shoes in the lab.
Lismore forensic police test shoes in the lab. David Nielsen

Teen pleads guilty to break-ins

A GOONELLABAH teenager has pleaded guilty to a series of destructive house break-ins where the houses were ransacked and trashed.

The court heard that walls were holed, glass items and windows broken, and walls, floors and carpets covered in tomato or barbecue sauces.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty in Lismore Children’s Court to five offences: Having stolen goods in personal custody; two counts of break, enter and stealing (from a Goonellabah and Lismore Heights houses in January and March); and two counts of recklessly destroying property.

The offender pleaded not guilty to a second charge of having stolen goods in his custody, including a drill, laptop, motorcycle tyres and bottles of Jack Daniels, Bundaberg rum, Baileys and Highland whisky.

He has made no plea on other serious offences involving break-ins.

A police statement said the teen ‘showed no remorse’ for his destructive actions and appeared only to be upset because he was caught.

“He has caused massive quantities of damage to his victims’ houses for what appears to be only for fun. The damage to some houses is among the most significant police have seen in break and enter offences,” it read.

At one house stolen property included a 106cm Sony LCD television. Six holes were also smashed through interior walls and the offender threw barbecue sauce all over the floor and walls, as well as throwing food items.

At another house, various sauces had been squirted over the floors, walls and ceiling and a leather lounge. The teen threw eggs throughout the house and ripped an air-conditioning unit from a wall causing considerable damage.

Broken eggs and sauces had been thrown on to vertical blinds that had to be replaced and ceilings repainted.

His fingerprints were found on a fire extinguisher and a bottle of lemonade. Shoe prints left at one house matched his white Globe sneakers.

Police state the teen also stole a 81cm LCD television, a video camera, a laptop, digital camera, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of spirits.

Kitchen cabinets, glassware and collectibles at that house had been tipped over, causing everything to smash, as well as foodbeing thrown around the house and wine bottles emptied on the floor, and cupboards and drawers broken apart.

The teen will be sentenced in August.

Two alleged co-offenders, aged 21, will both face court in September charged with receiving stolen property and threatening or causing injury to a person for being a witness.

At the time of a series of offences in March, senior Lismore police said deliberate damage carried out in a number of break-ins added a worrying element to the crimes.

Police also released details on a quantity of recovered stolen goods in the hope the property would be identified by owners.

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