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Warrnambool man breaks into homes, steals clothes and crashes car | The standard


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A Warrnambool man’s drug-fueled crime spree has seen him break into residential properties, try on clothes and crash into a woman’s car, spinning her 180 degrees. Mathew Drinan, 34, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on Monday to charges of burglary, trespassing and driving. He was imprisoned for nine months, which he has already served on remand. The court heard the man was high on drugs ice when he drove a Holden station wagon east during the Warrnambool Raglan Parade on January 3 last year at around 7.30pm. He entered the Kepler Street intersection, ignoring a red light and colliding with another station wagon. The crash caused the victim’s car to spin 180 degrees before coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection. The court heard a witness observe Drinan speeding in his vehicle while on the phone in the moments before the crash. He continued driving before parking at a nearby BP petrol station. Drinan then fled on foot. Later that night, he drove into a unit on Lyndoch Avenue and entered through an unlocked side window. Once inside, Drinan was observed by a woman at the end of a hallway. He was wearing his purple cardigan. A male occupant of the property confronted the man, who said he was looking for clothes. He then ran to the room he entered and fled through the window. At 1:30 a.m. he drove to a property on Foster Street and forced entry through a locked back door, causing damage. An elderly resident of the property woke up and heard noises inside the guest bedroom. She called and Drinan fled the property. Police attended to find the man had searched all the rooms, taking assorted items and placing them in a bag, which he dropped when disturbed. He was arrested in the yard of a Lava Street property, where he had set up a small bonfire. Travis Brown, representing the man, said Drinan spent 344 days in custody before being released on bail to live in the Odyssey House residential rehabilitation facility. He said the man remained drug-free at the facility, where he was tasked with driving residents and appointed as the Native Art Coordinator. Magistrate Nunzio La Rosa said there must be consequences for motorists who drove under the influence of illicit substances, risking “life-threatening circumstances”. But he said the man had shown a positive commitment to Odyssey House and his ultimate rehabilitation. He said that without Drinan’s guilty plea, he would have been jailed for 12 months. IN OTHER NEWS Now just a click away with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the option to access faster information, at their fingertips with The Standard: