DPP v Hancock [2016] VCC 393

Sentence summary: Armed robbery

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The offender and four others were looking for a vehicle to steal and sell in order to settle a co-offender’s drug debt. Two co-offenders knocked on the door of the victim’s home on the pretext of asking for directions. Later that night the offender and two co-offenders returned with the intention of stealing the victim’s ute. They turned off the external power, prompting the victim to leave his house to investigate, whereupon he was struck repeatedly with a metal bat at least eight times by the offender. The offender and at least one co-offender then entered the house and took a wallet, cash and keys to the ute. They drove away with the ute, which was later discovered with missing parts. The victim had feared he would be killed. He suffered severe bruising, lacerations and swelling, bone fractures and the loss of his right eye. He was hospitalised for 11 days before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility for several more weeks.

The offender pleaded to one charge of armed robbery and one charge of intentionally causing serious injury.

The judge found the offender was not actively involved in the planning of what happened. However, the offender assisted a brutal crime and took part in a vicious attack that caused very considerable physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact on the victim. His history of drug use and intoxication at the time of the offending did not mitigate his actions.

The early guilty plea and high levels of cooperation were relevant factors in sentencing, as were the offender’s young age (22) and disadvantaged upbringing.

However the judge noted that community protection was of primary consideration and the offending and its impact required substantial punishment.

For the charge of intentionally causing serious injury, the offender was sentenced as a ‘serious violent offender’ based on his prior violence conviction.

The offender was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four and a half years.

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Page last updated: 18 September 2019