Burglary – Accused With Terminal Illness

BurglaryThis is a case of burglary involving an accused with a terminal illness.

Our client has a lengthy history for Burglary and Theft-related offences. For most of his adult life, he had been in and out of custody, receiving lengthier prison sentences each time he appeared before the courts. He also has a long and sustained issue with heroin. For this particular case, he had been charged with numerous burglaries and thefts and had spent approximately 3 months in custody.

Hester Kelly acted on his behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Given the client’s lengthy criminal record, it was within range for him to receive a lengthy term of imprisonment. However, it was made clear to the magistrate that the client was suffering from a terminal illness. Further, that the offending was borne out of an almost lifelong struggle with substance abuse. This is an example of an instance where the magistrate recognised that further imprisonment would not serve to benefit the community or the offender.

The matter proceeded as a consolidated plea of guilty and a number of charges were marked withdrawn and struck out. Hester made submissions in relation to the client’s long battle with substance abuse and his health. Ultimately, the magistrate imposed a sentence of 101 days, declaring 98 days as having been already served as pre-sentence detention. Forfeiture orders were also made in relation to the property.

This was a good outcome considering the numerous charges against our client. We were able to show the court that despite the client’s priors, this was actually a case of burglary involving an accused with a terminal illness and other issues that cannot be addressed by a merely punitive approach.


Hester KellyHester Kelly

Hester is based at our Melbourne office and was admitted to practice in 2014. She previously worked as an Associate to Judge Howard in the County Court of Victoria and was also a solicitor advocate at another Melbourne criminal law firm before becoming a member of Doogue + George.

Hester graduated with First Class Honours in Law in 2012 from Monash University, with a degree in Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws. She completed two internships at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and has volunteered with the HIV/Aids Legal Centre in Melbourne.

Visit this page to know more about Hester.

DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 10/04/2017