Man broke into Mittagong house, drank booze, fell asleep then appeared in a towel

File image

File image

A man has been jailed for breaking into a house, where he helped himself to liquor before falling asleep.

James Frederick Kemsley, 29, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to aggravated break and enter when he appeared in Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday, May 10.

Police facts tendered in court said Kemsley was released from Parklea Prison on Christmas Eve last year after serving five months' imprisonment.

On Christmas Day he was charged by Bowral police for trespass after being caught attempting to gain access to premises in Welby. Police formed the view Kemsley was intoxicated at the station. He fell sideways to the ground and received a laceration to his right eye. He was transferred to the Bowral hospital for treatment and given a court attendance notice.

He discharged himself and late on December 25 made his way to Mittagong by train. He attended a church service before walking to nearby premises and gaining entry through an unlocked door.

The residents were away at a Christmas function at the time. Kemsley helped himself to a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch Whiskey before taking up residence in one of the rooms upstairs.

At 9am the next day, he showered and dressed in a towel before going down to the kitchen. A resident recognised Kemsley because he had previously provided computer-related assistance to their son. The resident asked Kemsley how he had got into the house, but Kemsley could not remember.

The resident asked him to put his clothes on and Kemsley asked if there was any more alcohol before going back upstairs and using the son's computer, still dressed in a towel. The resident called the police, who arrived and arrested Kemsley.

In court, Kemsley's solicitor said he was a former newspaper journalist and that "journalism had led him to become an alcoholic".

Magistrate Geraldine Beattie said they were "unusual facts". "You got in and helped yourself to the alcohol and generally made yourself at home," Ms Beattie said.

"The residents come home and find you in their house the next morning and called police. It was a very strange scenario. Entering someone's house without their consent is worrying and your record does not assist you."

She sentenced Kemsley to 18 months' jail, with a non-parole period of 11 months.