DPP v Dix [2016] VCC 248

Sentence summary: Armed robbery

The offender altered his vehicle’s numberplates, put on beanie and dark sunglasses and armed himself with a hammer before entering a liquor store. Once inside he waited for the young female store attendant to be alone before demanding money. He threatening to smash up the store if the store attendant did anything. The offender stole $180 in cash.

The offender then went to a Cash Converters store where he used some of the money to buy back a television he had on loan there. He later purchased some Ice and he used the remaining proceeds to gamble.

The offender surrendered himself to police after he became aware of media reporting of the offending, which had been captured on CCTV.

The offender pleaded guilty to armed robbery.

The judge found there were aggravating features to the offending – including altering the numberplates, attempting to disguise himself and carrying a weapon. All indicated the offender’s premeditation. The victim was deeply traumatised by the offending.

In a victim impact statement the victim said she has panic attacks at home and work and in shopping centres. She said she is now very fearful in situations where she is serving customers. She has cut back dramatically at work, which has had a big impact on her financially.

However the judge noted that no violence was perpetrated and that the offender had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

The offender suffered from Schizophrenia, which meant imprisonment would be likely to have a detrimental effect on his mental health. Based on psychiatric reports the judge found that the offender understood the connection between the offending, his mental health and his drug use, and that he was taking positive steps to remain healthy with the support of his family.

A Community Corrections Order satisfied the need for punishment and specific deterrence. The judge said it would enable the offender to be supported in the community where he had very good therapeutic relationships, thereby dramatically reducing the risk of re-offending. Such an order was in both the offender’s interests and the community's, the judge said.

The offender was sentenced to a three-year Community Corrections Order. As part of the CCO the offender was ordered to undergo supervision, treatment and rehabilitation for drugs and alcohol, and also to undergo mental health assessment and treatment.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018