NAMED: Serial Roma burglar in court for trespassing, given fine

Despite Harold John Lake being given a prison sentence for burglary offences, the Roma father has continued his illegal behaviour and faced court, once again, for trespassing.

Harold John Lake.
Harold John Lake.

“If it’s not yours … don’t go in” are the words Magistrate Peter Saggers repeatedly told Lake after he pleaded guilty to one count of trespass in the Roma Magistrates Court on March 2.

The court heard on February 8, Lake accompanied by two co-offenders entered an unoccupied property that was listed for sale.

“They entered the backyard by climbing over the side fence then walked up to the rear of the property and smoked cigarettes,” police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said.

“There was CCTV footage motion which relayed back to the owner’s mobile phone.

“At approximately 10pm, police attended the address and observed the defendant and co-defendants at the rear of the stairs and subsequently arrested the defendant.”

Lake’s solicitor Laurie Parker said his client has been doing “seemingly well” and works at Woolworths as a trolley collector and has two children.

“He admitted his actions were stupid,” Mr Parker said.

“I’ve told him to stop doing this type of behaviour.”

At a time when the Roma community has become increasingly frustrated after several homes and businesses have been broken into, Magistrate Saggers sternly warned the defendant to simply stop entering people’s homes.

“Stay out of people’s yards … it’s not a hard concept, if it’s not yours, don’t go in,” Magistrate Saggers said.

“I told you that last time.”

It was only July last year, when the same magistrate sentenced the defendant to 12-months imprisonment, with immediate parole after he pleaded guilty to seven offences, including attempting to break into Vital Health and breaking into the School of Arts building.

In the court sitting in July 2020, the magistrate said Lake served at least five months in jail for a burglary offence in 2017.

Then in February last year, paramedics were forced to run for their lives after they arrived at a Woodridge home to find Lake coming towards them with a knife in one hand and a hammer in the other.

He served three months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months for that offence.

On Tuesday March 2, Lake was given a $500 fine and the conviction was recorded.

“You have work and two kids, it doesn’t make sense you would put yourself at risk to go to jail … if it’s not yours, stay away,” Magistrate Saggers said.

“Don’t go into people’s houses, don’t go through their yard, even if it’s a shortcut … you must set an example for your kids.

“Don’t blow it.”


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