A serial thief has been jailed after failing to produce a sick mother who police say may not even exist.
Brian Vallance, of Inglewood, had pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court in May to a series of traffic and theft offences, including stealing an Aboriginal artefact from Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. Each of the charges breached an intensive corrections order.
To save himself from going to jail, Vallance had to prove “exceptional circumstances” and said he was the sole carer for his critically ill mother.
His case was adjourned to allow Vallance to prove this claim.
But at a sentencing hearing at the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday, the court was told Vallance’s mother was too sick to get out of the car and couldn’t enter the courtroom to give evidence in her son’s defence. Prosecuting, Senior Constable Alan Walker said the court had given Vallance enough chances.
Senior Constable Walker said all the court had received to support Vallance’s claims was a “vague letter”.
“I don’t know if the mother exists your honour – there’s no evidence to say she exists,” he said.
Magistrate Richard Wright said exceptional circumstances had not been proved to the “required level”.
He reinstated Vallance’s intensive corrections order as a 112-day jail term.
Vallance was also disqualified from driving for four years and Mr Wright imposed a $1500 fine on the theft charges.
Senior Constable Walker said Vallance had also been charged on Sunday with another theft.
That matter was adjourned for four weeks so Vallance’s lawyer could get directions from her client.