SOS Phone Repairs, Grafton was broken into on October 2.
SOS Phone Repairs, Grafton was broken into on October 2. Jenna Thompson

Cycle of crime continues for Grafton man

THREE weeks after being released on parole for an alleged break and enter offence, a Grafton man struck again, with the brazen robbery of a newly opened Grafton business.

Damen Hookey, 18, was refused bail in Grafton Local Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated break and enter and disposing of the stolen goods. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of deal with proceeds of crime.

According to court documents, police will allege that just after midnight on October 2 Hookey broke into SOS Phone Repairs and stole 16 mobile phones, a laptop and several small electronic items from the Prince St store that had been opened only a month before. 

Hookey's solicitor Joel Eng pointed to Hookey's grandmother sitting in court when he made an application for his client's release as a sign of his ties to the community.

He conceded imprisonment was "inevitable" given Hookey's guilty plea and he argued his client's first foray in full-time adult custody would be "more onerous" on him due to his age and mental health conditions. 

Mr Eng submitted to the court bail conditions such as living with his grandmother, and not fraternising with the co-accused would address the concerns of Hookey committing further offences or failing to appear on his next court date.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden disagreed, she said the fourth break and enter offence on Hookey's record was a very serious one and despite Hookey's "vulnerable" state no conditions of bail could address her concerns.

Hookey was refused bail to appear in Grafton Local Court on November 18.