Sentence summary: Aggravated burglary
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Having seen that the victim was elderly, frail and disabled, the offender waited for him to open his locked back door late at night to have a cigarette in his backyard. He dragged the victim back into the house, assaulted him, tied his legs together and his arms to the bed and blindfolded him before ransacking the house and taking items including World War II medals, a bank book, mobile phones, a watch and cash. Before leaving, the offender cut the landline so the victim could not call for help. The victim was found by his carer the next morning.
The victim was legally blind, had difficulty communicating verbally and walked with the support of a walking frame.
The offender pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated burglary, false imprisonment, robbery and recklessly causing injury. He was on bail at the time of the offending.
The judge took into account the devastating effect the offending had had on the victim, who had to move into a care facility. The offender had a lengthy criminal history, and high moral culpability for his actions.
In mitigating the sentence, the judge took into account the offender’s early guilty plea and the voluntary return of some of the victim’s belongings. He would have to serve his sentence in protective custody because of the media coverage of the case, which would make prison harsher for him.
Nonetheless, the judge said the offending was most serious, utterly intolerable and deserving of strong punishment and denunciation.
The judge said: ‘A message must be sent to the community in no uncertain terms that conduct such as yours is utterly intolerable… You targeted a most vulnerable victim in the dead of night in the sanctity of his own home where he was entitled to feel safe.’
The judge said a substantial prison sentence was necessary.
The offender was sentenced to nine years and one months’ imprisonment with a non-parole term of six years and six months.