Break & Enter & Commit Serious Indictable Offence Laws in NSW

Sahar Adatia.


It was far from an ideal day for a budding burglar who broke into a United Kingdom bar with the intention of leaving with a new and nifty spirits collection but ended up helping himself to endless rounds of tipples, resulting in him extremely drunk and passing out inside the venue.

Lee Roach, 46, broke into Harrison’s Bar in Liverpool where he casually knocked back a variety of spirits before actually taking off with any, and ended up fast asleep behind the bar where he remained until a cleaner arrived the following day.

A prompt phone call by the cleaner to the police saw officers swiftly arrive at the scene.

And as one would expect, they decisively arrested the drowsy burglar and had him handcuffed before he even realised police were present.

Officers then conducted a search of the robber and what they found was startling.

Stuffed down his trousers was $10,000 in toy money, while in his rucksack he had stashed several bottles of booze.

Additionally, the man had on him a parcel that he’d stolen from an apartment block, inside of which was a new wallet.


Boozy Burglar Faces Liverpool Crown Court; Robbery Critiqued as “Not the Most Sophisticated”

 Mr Roach appeared at Liverpool Crown Court over his break, enter and steal offence, where prosecutor Mike Stephenson told the court that staff working at the venue had arrived there at 9.20am on 16 August 2021 to find the man “lying among debris” behind the bar after smashing a window to allow himself inside.

In indeed quite the understatement, Liverpool Crown Court then heard it “was not the most sophisticated burglary”.

Mr Roach also caused damage to a fridge containing drinks, which was discovered upended.

Meanwhile, it was also heard the cleaner’s entry had not shaken the burglar in the slightest, who was knocked out cold.

“The cleaning lady who encountered him retreated and locked the shutters again,” Prosecutor Stephenson said, adding that the cleaner entering the property had not made any difference to the man because he had been drinking so “extensively” from bottles that he was “dead to the world”.

Ultimately, Mr Roach admitted to the burglary and theft, and as it turns out, also holds 90 previous convictions for 161 offences, including 86 offences of theft and 20 burglaries.

At the time of the break-in, he was on a suspended sentence, evidently breaching his bond with his latest offence – which he also admitted to.

Defending Mr Roach, Matthew O’Neill said his client was making “great progress” with a Drug Rehabilitation Order and that he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

In response, the judge, Recorder David Knifton, QC, said he had read Mr Roach’s reports and his history of offending, which convey “a pretty sorry tale of a man who has been addicted to drugs for years”.

“You did well and managed to complete successfully the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement which was provided to you,” the judge added.

“Unfortunately, you then turned to drink instead and ended up being found in the bar of licenced premises so drunk they had to wake you up.”

Mr Roach was slapped with a 15-month jail sentence.

For specific advice, it is recommended to get the advice from a criminal lawyer.

Break & Enter & Commit Serious Indictable Offence Laws in NSW

As common-sense dictates, whether you’re in the mood for a drink or several rounds of spirits, your best bet is to simply visit a bar as a paying customer rather than breaking in and stealing your tipple.

Other than the fact that smashing your way into a bar and drinking all their alcohol is quite noticeable, breaking in and stealing from any property is against the law.

In NSW, the law on this crime is reflected in section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which states that any person who breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein – including larceny – or being in any dwelling-house or other building commits any serious indictable offence and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building, is guilty of a crime.

The prescribed penalty is up to 14 years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that depending on the circumstances in which the break, enter and commit serious indictable offence took place, you can face higher maximum penalties.

Specifically, if committed in aggravated circumstances, the maximum penalty is 20 years in jail.

If the offence takes place in circumstances of special aggravation, again, the maximum penalty increases, in this case to 25 years in jail.

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