DPP v Cartwright [2019] VCC 1034

Sentence summary: Aggravated burglary

A thief who planned to rob a friend's home but refused go inside during the crime spree was jailed.

Harley Cartwright, 23, was sentenced to three years prison with a non-parole period of twenty months.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated burglary and two charges of theft and was on a community corrections order at the time of offending.

The Court heard the offender had been using the drug ice in the lead up to the early morning robbery in December 2017, where he waited outside while four others ran inside the home with a knife and masks on.

The Court heard the offenders planned to steal the victim's Holden Monaro to use in a joyride.

The accomplices scoured the home but didn't make off with the Monaro, instead taking a Holden Commodore, an iPad and a Suzuki Swift.

The victim's brother and mother were present at the time of the robbery.

The offender had been friends with the victim since kindergarten and had stayed at their family home on several occasions.

The victim's mother told the Court how she endured severe anxiety and loss of sleep following the attack.

When considering the sentence, the presiding judge said only a jail sentence would be appropriate and noted his extensive criminal history which included interstate convictions for driving and robbery offences.

"In terms of objective gravity, the features which elevate its seriousness include that it was planned, occurred in company in the early morning, after ensuring that people would be home, that it involved the use of disguises, and that the victims … were very frightened," the judge said.

"You bear high moral culpability for the offending because you planned it, knew the victims well, and, apart from being drug affected in the days before and during the incident, were not suffering from any mental illness at the time."

Mitigating factors included an early guilty plea and the sudden death of the offender's older brother when he was young.

The offender also endured a tough upbringing, using drugs at a young age while moving regularly following the divorce of his parents.

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Page last updated: 8 December 2020