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Scitech burglar loses bid to cut sentence
Scitech burglar loses bid to cut sentence

A man who burgled more than $16,000 worth of property from a non-profit organisation in Perth to trade for drugs has failed in his bid to have his sentence reduced.

Michael Peter Gangemi was handed four years in jail, with eligibility for parole, after pleading guilty in the District Court to one count of burglary.

The 35-year-old admitted to slipping into the Scitech Discovery Centre in the City West complex at about 6pm (WST) on February 18 last year through an unlocked automatic sliding door and stealing items including mobile phones, iPads, laptop computers, cameras, a fundraising cashbox and a petty cashbox.

Having placed the items worth $16,220 in a box, Gangemi was let out of the complex by a cleaner, who unlocked a door that had been locked while he was burgling the office.

All was captured on CCTV and he made full admissions when arrested by police less than a fortnight later.

But he had traded most of the property for drugs and only $841 worth of goods were recovered.

Gangemi contended the four-year sentence he was handed was manifestly excessive, but his appeal was dismissed last week.

The appellant has an appalling criminal record. He has offended persistently over many years, amassing more than 100 convictions, Justice David Wallace Newnes of Western Australia's Court of Appeal said.

The appellant's continual offending is driven by an entrenched drug dependency, and it is clear that he is at a high risk of reoffending.

He noted Gangemi was on bail at the time of the offence, had just been kicked out of a rehabilitation facility for using amphetamines and had only once complied with a court-imposed order.

"The appellant's prospects of turning his life around appear bleak," Justice Newnes said.

"Whilst the sentence of four years' imprisonment is severe, I do not consider that it falls outside a sound discretionary range."