Jordyn Clulow has been on the wrong side of the law many times in his 21 years.
Two months ago, he took his first step towards getting back on the right side.
Motivated by a guilty conscience and a willingness to set a good example for his young son, Clulow walked into the foyer of Wollongong Police Station and confessed his involvement in three unsolved early morning break-ins at the same Albion Park Rail tobacco shop in the space of six weeks.
It was a remarkable step for the young Warrawong man, who until this point had largely lived a life outside of normal society expectations.
His about-face was thoroughly rewarded in Wollongong Local Court on Friday, with Magistrate Michael Stoddart imposing a heavily reduced prison sentence totaling just three months.
Clulow’s lawyer, Jack Hibbard, said his client’s actions were nothing short of extraordinary.
“He wants to be a good example for his son,” Mr Hibbard said.
“He doesn’t want his son growing up thinking his father is a criminal.
“His voluntary admission to the crimes speaks of a young man who has a great desire to make amends for what he’s done.”
Documents tendered to the court said Clulow decided to hand himself in after seeing CCTV footage of one of the break-ins on the Albion Park Community Crime Watch Facebook page.
The court heard Clulow had an accomplice in all three raids on the Ash Avenue Cignall shop, but has refused to divulge the identity of that person to police.
Together, the pair stole thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes, $1,800 in cash and caused an estimated $40,000 worth of damage after breaking into the shop on March 5, April 5 and April 10.
Clulow subsequently told police he and his co-accused sold most of the cigarettes and split the cash between them.
Clulow was charged with three counts of aggravated break and enter, to which he pleaded guilty in court on Friday.
In setting such a lenient sentence, Magistrate Stoddart acknowledged the case may well have remained unresolved had Clulow not come forward and confessed.
However, he said time would tell whether Clulow was serious about turning his life around.
With time served, Clulow will be released on nine months parole in August.