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Benjamin James Warwick, 50, narrowly avoids jail time for “third strike” offending

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Breanna RedheadSouth Western Times
Bunbury Courthouse.
Camera IconBunbury Courthouse. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

A Bunbury man police say is “no stranger” to home burglary has narrowly avoided prison after another home theft and is now a “third strike” offender.

Benjamin James Warwick, 50, appeared in Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Monday for sentencing on two counts of burglary with intent and a related stealing charge.

About 5pm on January 3, 2022, Warwick entered the garage of a residential property in Dalyellup, approaching two bicycles being stored in the room.

The victim then entered the garage from the side door adjoining the home, asking Warwick what he was doing.

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Warwick advised he wanted to use the bathroom but was told by the victim to leave the property which he did.

The act was captured on CCTV.

Just five minutes later, Warwick entered another property’s garage while the victim was in the backyard, stealing a grey mountain bike.

The victim later realised the bike was missing, advising police after observing the stealing on home CCTV.

Police located Warwick in the early hours of the following morning but he made no admissions to either incident.

The man’s duty lawyer told the court he “cannot recall” the offending “at all”.

The court was told the man struggled with alcohol and opioid abuse, which his lawyer said played a “large factor” in the offending.

A third strike offender for crimes of the same nature, police called for Warwick to be sent to jail to align with “community expectation”.

Magistrate Benjamin Tyers handed down a 12-month suspended prison term with supervision and program requirements.

He said while Warwick’s record had a “considerable history” of home burglaries, he had shown “little to no” offending since the recent charges.

“It is of considerable concern you feel entitled to walk into someone’s home or garage,” he said.

“You have a considerable history of burglary, but we’re going to give you another chance.”

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