Judge in Bendigo says serial offender benefited from 'leniency' of courts in the part

A MAN who was found living in a garage in Long Gully after committing crimes across Victoria had benefited from the “leniency” of courts in the past, a judge believes.

Riley Hansen, 38, was sentenced in the Bendigo County Court on Friday on six charges of theft, three charges of burglary, two charges of handling stolen goods and one charge of trafficking ice, along with other offences.

He will spend at least another 15 months behind bars after he was given a three year, three month jail term with a non-parole period of two years and two months.

Hansen has already served 325 days in custody.

He was arrested in a garage on Philpot Street in Long Gully on November 22, where police believe he had been living.

A search of the garage uncovered a range of stolen goods, including tools, swords, ammunition belt, gun case and cartridge ammunition for a shotgun and handgun.

Hansen’s offending was first detected on October 27 when he was spotted driving a Ford Falcon – stolen from Wycheproof – with false number plates in Blackburn in Melbourne’s east. He fled on foot.

He stole a shotgun, pistol, ute, flatscreen TV, jewellery and a knife from an unoccupied Blackburn address around the same time.

Hansen then committed burglaries on several properties in Avoca several days after he was spotted in Blackburn.

He stole $75,000 cash, a motorcycle and other items. His fingerprints were found at one of the scenes.

Hansen fled police on foot in Gisborne where he dropped a backpack containing $5500 and eight grams of ice. He was arrested in Long Gully more than two weeks later.

The court heard Hansen was completing a community corrections order at the time of the offending for charges including drug trafficking.

He received suspended sentences in 1999 and 2011 for various offences, was sentenced on driving offences in 2009, and had his jail term cut by a year on appeal in 2013.

He ran a successful business in Maryborough for 10 years in the 2000s before it encountered difficulties and he found himself using drugs once again.

Judge Frank Gucciardo said the sentences had failed to deter Hansen.

“The leniency of the court and this successful appeal seems to have had little effect on you,” he said.

He said burglary was a prevalent offence across Victoria and the community expected offenders be punished adequately.

“These offences are prevalent in our community, they are often committed on soft targets. They interfere with people’s hard worked-for property, and infiltrate the security and safety of people’s homes and premises,” Judge Gucciardo said.