SOS Phone Repairs, Grafton was broken into on October 2.
SOS Phone Repairs, Grafton was broken into on October 2.

Robbery in plain sight lands Grafton teen in jail

A BRAZEN robbery committed in plain sight of at least two CCTV cameras has landed a Grafton teenager in prison.

Damen Hookey, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated break and enter and disposing of stolen property after stealing mobile phones, a laptop and other electrical items from Grafton store SOS Phone Repairs estimated to be worth at least $8000.

Hookey was on parole for an unrelated aggravated break and enter offence when, at 11.35pm on October 2, he was among a group of co-accused, who smashed the glass window of the Prince St store.

Hookey was heard in CCTV video footage directing the co-accused to take items from the store. The group stole eight iPhones, one Samsung Galaxy phone, a laptop, a keyboard and several USB charging cables.

Hookey walked directly under a CCTV camera on Prince St carrying the stolen phones in his hands. One of his co-accused ditched the stolen laptop in a council recycling bin.

Police attended Hookey’s address the following day, where he told them “I don’t have any phones, I got rid of them all” and charges were laid.

In sentencing Hookey to 18 months in custody, Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said he had an “alarming criminal record as a juvenile”. A sentencing assessment report found Hookey a high-risk of reoffending and unwilling to engage with behaviour change programs.

Ms Crittenden noted he had strong family ties, as his grandfather sat in the back of the courtroom for support. She said it was significant the offences were committed just a few weeks after he was released on parole.

Hookey was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with a 12 month non-parole period backdated to his first entrance to custody on October 3.

He must also pay $1447 compensation.



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