DPP v Blum [2016] VCC 1462

Sentence summary: Aggravated burglary

The offender bought a second-hand car and formed a view, incorrectly, that it was stolen. When the seller refused by text message to refund the money, the offender and two co-offenders went back to the property where they had bought the car. They entered the house, with the offender carrying an imitation semi-automatic handgun, and detained the two sons – the victims – of the property-owner, assaulting one and interrogating them both at gunpoint as to the whereabouts of the seller and the location of any valuables. The two victims were marched around the backyard and into a shed. After realising the car was not stolen, the offender apologised and left, taking a gold ring, watch and ammunition, after threatening the victims not to call the police.

The offender pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated burglary, common law assault, false imprisonment and theft.

The judge found that the offender was guilty of serious offending. The judge said: ‘Aggravated burglary involves a serious violation of the security of a person's home… People are entitled to feel safe in their houses and not have someone coming in, especially in the dead of night.’

The judge said the offender had gone to the property intending to assault someone, entering through the back door while the co-offenders went in the front door. He carried a weapon that, despite being an imitation, was designed to look real and to threaten people in the house. Three offenders acting together made it more serious.

The judge took a number of matters into account in mitigation, including the offender’s guilty plea, remorse, youth and troubled background. Depression and a post-traumatic stress disorder would make custody more difficult for him.

However the judge said the offending had to be strongly denounced and significantly punished. Community protection required that others were deterred from engaging in such offending.

The offender was sentenced to four years and nine months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018