Four years’ jail for Rochester ‘rampage’

A man who ransacked a single father’s home on Christmas Eve during a crime “rampage” near Rochester last year has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Jacob Hugh Jenkins, 24, pleaded guilty to more than 20 charges including burglary, theft, being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and drug trafficking and was sentenced in the Bendigo County Court on Friday.

The court heard one victim, a single father, found his children’s rooms “turned upside down” on Christmas morning following one of the burglaries and had to spend Christmas Day alone, cleaning up, instead of with his children.

Judge Jane Patrick said the man suffered panic attacks as a result and had lost all the photos he had of his children after Jenkins stole the digital items on which they were stored.

Another victim described the offending as “a total invasion of privacy” and has since had difficulty sleeping and decided to relocate.

“Your offending has been correctly described as a rampage,” Judge Patrick said.

“You invaded the privacy of people's homes, that was a particularly harsh thing to do at Christmas time.”

Jenkins stole a number of firearms during the crime spree, for which Judge Patrick imposed his longest individual prison sentence of 20 months, describing those offences as particularly serious.

“You clearly had a complete disregard for who might end up with those firearms and what they might be used for,” she said.

The court heard Jenkins was considered a prohibited person when found in possession of the firearms due to a previous offence of reckless conduct endangering serious injury after he drove a vehicle at a police car.

In setting a non-parole period of two years, Judge Patrick said she took into account his “very reasonable” prospects of rehabilitation, but said that process would be contingent on his ability to kick his addiction to methamphetamine, noting any profit he made from the crimes was used to buy more drugs.

“I consider this to be another example of the consequences of ice addiction,” she said.

“I hope that in that period in custody you really are able to develop strategies to ensure you stay free of drugs.”

The offending occurred during a six week period between November 9 and December 25 while Jenkins’ parents were away and the court heard he used a screwdriver to break into their shed which he used to store the stolen property.