Kalgoorlie-Boulder man no stranger to jail behind bars for burglary

A Kalgoorlie-Boulder man who has spent the majority of the past 16 years behind bars has again been sentenced to prison after a home burglary less than three weeks after he was last released.

Jason Ridley, 51, appeared in Kalgoorlie Magistrates’ Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to theft and burglary offenses which breached a conditional sentence order.

The offenses also put him in third strike position after the burglary, which meant he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

The court was told that Ridley was at an address in West Lamington when he opened a Flywire screen and walked through it.

He searched through the rooms of the house before pulling out a purse containing reading glasses and $300 worth of coins.

The court was told the owner then arrived and saw the man steal his bag, before asking him to hand it over and take it out.

There was no confrontation and Ridley left without further incident.

Defense lawyer Murray Stubbs said his client was released last month after 12 months in custody after being given a suspended prison sentence.

He told the court that Ridley had spent the majority of the past 16 years behind bars, mostly at Eastern Goldfields Regional Jail.

Magistrate Andrew Matthews said it was clear Ridley was “well and truly institutionalised” and faced “significant social disadvantage” as a 51-year-old Indigenous person.

However, he said he had to weigh that with protecting the community.

“Entering people’s property takes away their sense of security,” he said.

“No less than three weeks (after being released), we are faced with the same situation again.”

Mr Matthews sentenced Ridley to the mandatory minimum sentence of two years in immediate prison and overturned the pending order.

He sentenced Ridley to six months for that order’s main burglary offense and one month for each of the other nine charges.

These sentences will run concurrently, meaning Ridley will serve a total of two years in prison and be eligible for parole after 12 months.

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