News State Victoria News Prison time for Victorian baby formula thief

Prison time for Victorian baby formula thief

A man is almost certain to be deported to India after spending at least a year in prison for breaking into warehouses to steal baby formula and vitamins. Photo: Getty
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A baby formula and vitamins thief is almost certain to be deported to India after spending at least the next year in prison.

Navjinder Singh, 24, admitted breaking into three warehouses across Melbourne in June and August 2018 with two co-accused to steal formula and vitamins worth $170,000.

He also admitted stealing two vehicles, including one belonging to an employer, in March and April 2018.

At the County Court of Victoria on Thursday, Judge Michael Cahill sentenced Singh to 18 months in prison, with a non-parole period of 12 months.

He acknowledged that Singh, an Indian national who came to Australia on a student visa in 2014, will likely be deported when he is free.

“You will almost inevitably be removed from Australia when you have completed your prison sentence,” Judge Cahill told the court on Thursday.

The court was earlier told that the 24-year-old had come to Australia to study but fell into a life of crime after being kicked out of his uncle’s home following an argument.

He was introduced to heroin while staying with a friend and committed the burglaries to fund his habit.

After he was granted bail over the baby formula burglaries he fled the state and was arrested in NSW.

But Singh has undergone programs in prison to address his drug use and was a good prospect for rehabilitation because of his youth and lack of prior criminal history, the court heard.

Co-accused Herdeep Singh has already been sentenced for eight thefts totalling $170,000, and Gurwinder Gill admitted 19 offences valued at more than $500,000 and was sentenced to three years’ jail on Wednesday.