Man admits role in bar burglary

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 12:22 28/09/2012

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A man has admitted his role in the July 2010 burglary of Churchill's Bar in Sydenham - an inside job in which $42,267 was taken.

Michael James Desmond Smith, 26, today pleaded guilty to being a party to the burglary. He admits being involved but not actually entering the tavern about 5.30am on July 4, 2010.

Judge Phillip Moran remanded Smith on bail for sentencing on December 13. He ordered a pre-sentence report which will cover Smith's suitability for home detention and community detention.

The case has already seen Clinton Glen Thompson, 36, who was employed as door staff at the bar, sentenced to 10 months' home detention for the burglary and ordered to pay a share of the reparations.

The money stolen in the burglary has never been found.

In the hours prior to the burglary, Thompson was frequently texting Smith.

After the building was closed for the night about 5am, it was entered through a rooftop door and a manhole which gave entry to the locked office.

The security camera was disconnected before cash was removed from the unlocked safe. The alarm went off.

The manager contacted Thompson by text message wanting to know the alarm code. Thompson sent him the code by text message and offered to check the bar himself. The manager declined that offer and headed there himself.

Thompson sent a text saying "U ned to move it" because the manager would be there in five minutes.

Smith texted back: "we dOne n gOne."

Another man charged with the burglary is still due to stand trial.

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- The Press

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