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Career criminal jailed for 18 months after theft from house

A serial offender with a criminal record stretching back 40 years has been jailed for 18 months after he admitted the theft of $80 from a house.

Neville Woods, 53, pleaded guilty yesterday in Magistrates’ Court to trespassing into a home to steal cash.

The court heard that Robert Smith discovered $80 was missing from his wallet after he left it on his dining room table overnight.

Mr Smith found that a screen window in his Smith’s home had been torn and the window left open and suspected he had been robbed.

He checked security camera footage from the night before, which showed Woods on his porch before he climbed through the window.

Mr Smith posted the footage on social media and a police officer recognised Woods as a childhood friend.

The officer informed his colleagues and police later arrested Woods.

Woods admitted that he had been at Mr Smith’s home but denied the break-in.

The incident happened on August 9 last year.

Woods, of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to the offence at an appearance on August 12, but changed his plea yesterday.

He told the court: “Over time, I realised I had to tell the truth.”

Woods, who was in custody since his first court appearance, added that his time on remand had given him “time to think”.

He added: “I’m very sorry for what I did. I know I need to stay off of people’s property.”

Javone Rogers, for the Crown, told the court that Woods had a “significant” history of theft, with his first offence recorded in 1982.

Mr Rogers asked for an 18-month prison sentence to deter Woods and others from committing similar offences.

Susan Mulligan, for the defence, agreed with the proposed sentence, but asked for Woods’ time in custody be taken into consideration.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo sentenced Woods to 18 months in prison with time in custody taken into consideration.

He told Woods: “You know these courts inside and out. You’ve got to be tired – it’s got to come to an end.”

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