Print fingers reformed burglar

REFORMED offender Aaron John Bartman had his life back on track in recent years only to be dragged back to court yesterday after being fingered for a Toowoomba burglary committed 15 years ago.

A fingerprint left at the scene of the break-in of a Long St residence on the afternoon of September 14, 1996, had been matched to Bartman by police data checking last month, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Mark McKenzie told the court the home owner had been working in the garden when the house was broken into between 2pm and 3pm on the day of the offence.

The home owner returned to the house to find the rooms ransacked and $3245 of property stolen including $1400 of American currency in travel cheques and cash, a $1000 diamond ring, a $500 opal ring, a watch, handbag, bank cards, wallet and cash.

Bartman, now 34, pleaded guilty to the break-in and stealing offences.

His solicitor David Burns said, while his client accepted his fingerprint had been found at the point of entry to the house, he instructed that he didn't remember the particular offence.

Mr Burns said his client had been jailed for 14 months just two months after the break-in for a series of similar offences committed about the same time and submitted had this offence been included with those other crimes it was not likely he would have received any extra jail time.

Acting magistrate Roger Stark agreed with the submission and noted, by his criminal history, Bartman had managed to stay out of trouble for more than five years.

Mr Stark convicted Bartman with no further penalty, but ordered he pay restitution of $3245.

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