Forensic evidence has linked a woman to a burglary that took place more than five years ago.
Huntly resident Harmany Gourley pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to two counts of burglary and theft of a motor vehicle, after being linked to three incidents that occurred in 2015 and 2020.
In late March 2015, the court heard, a home in Kennington was ransacked and property worth about $4275 was stolen, including a television, PlayStation, jewellery, clothing, tools and kitchen items.
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Entry had been gained through a smashed bedroom window, and blood was found on the wall and bed linen.
This blood was later matched to Gourley, who was 18 at the time of the burglary.
Then in June 2020, a 2001 Holden Rodeo was stolen from Golden Square, the offender or offenders having entered the property via an unlocked door and stolen the vehicle keys from inside.
The victim's laptop was inside their vehicle and they used an app to track it to a Golden Square address.
Investigators attended the address and found Gourley, as well as the vehicle keys and the laptop.
The vehicle itself was in a nearby vacant lot and Gourley's fingerprints were on it.
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Fingerprints again linked Gourley to another crime, this time a burglary at the Golden Square Bowls Club earlier this month.
A building was broken into and about $700 of alcohol was stolen.
Damage to the building and fridge totalled about $3000.
Gourley was arrested on Monday, December 28 and told police she suffered mental health issues and had recently escalated her drug use.
She said these issues clouded her memory, but admitted that she must have committed the crimes if her fingerprints and DNA were found.
Defence lawyer Alex McLennan told the court that 23-year-old Gourley had ongoing substance addiction issues, and she committed the crimes at the encouragement of others.
Mr McLennan submitted Gourley ought to be sentenced to a community corrections order.
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Being 18 at the time of the first offence, he said, she would not have received imprisonment had she been sentenced at that time.
He said she was still a relatively young person, had strong family support, and was in need of support in the community.
But magistrate Sharon McRae said that while Gourley did not have an extensive criminal history, a corrections order alone was not appropriate.
Ms McRae said the community would expect someone to be jailed for such crimes, and one of the offences involved the incursion into someone's home, their safe space.
She added that people "put their hearts and souls" into bowling clubs.
"I'm sure the bowling club would be outraged about that theft," Ms McRae said.
Normally sentences for such offences would start at six to 12 months' imprisonment, she said, although flagged that Gourley was not looking at such a long period in custody.
Ms McRae indicated she would sentence Gourley to a term of imprisonment, to be followed by a community corrections order.
She adjourned sentencing to January to allow for a corrections order assessment.
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