A New Zealand-born ''Spiderman’’ burglar raided the Melbourne homes of wealthy Asians for four years without leaving a trace.
Even when he was finally caught in the act, the police didn’t have anything to directly unmask their serial burglar — until he confessed.
The media dubbed the burglar ‘‘Spiderman’’ after he stole $175,000 (NZ$187,000) in cash and Prada, Chanel and Cartier jewellery from two-storey and three-storey Melbourne homes.
Barry John Williams was finally caught breaking into a Toorak home and immediately copped to seven other robberies.
Victorian County Court Judge Bill Stuart said Williams answered every one of the 1640 questions police asked him in an interview.
‘‘The police did not have any evidence directly linking you to the burglaries you subsequently admitted to,’’ Judge Stuart said.
‘‘What brings you to this court is your own confessions."
Williams, 40, who has also lived in NSW, was jailed for five-and-a-half years on Tuesday with a three-year non-parole period.
Williams wrote a letter to Judge Stuart asking for forgiveness from his victims, who were mainly wealthy Asians in rich suburbs.
‘‘To my victims I’m truly sorry and take full responsibility for my actions,’’ Williams wrote.
‘‘I hope one day you will find it in yourselves to forgive me.’’
One victim, who could not be identified for legal reasons, said she would move to an apartment because she no longer felt safe in her home.
‘‘Every noise at night in my own house is frightening,’’ she said in a statement.
Williams climbed into wealthy homes in Balwyn, Brighton, Kew and Toorak from July 2009 to June 2013.
One woman woke up to find Williams in her walk-in wardrobe, after he got in through a second-storey bathroom window.
He pushed a 60kg safe out of a window at one house, and stole $145,000 in cash from a safe behind a false wall at another.
Judge Stuart said Williams’ previous convictions for similar offences in New Zealand and his drug use had weighed into his sentencing decision.