DPP v Tang [2016] VCC 1631

Sentence summary: Aggravated burglary

A family of four was asleep at home when they were woken at 3:00am by loud bangs. The father went outside to investigate and was confronted by three men who were each holding beach umbrella poles, which they had taken from the side of the house. The father fought off the intruders, who left the house but soon returned, joined by the offender and others. Rocks were thrown at the father. The police arrived shortly afterwards. Seeing his garage door open and an intruder driving his BMW SUV down the driveway, the father attempted to open the driver side door however he was dragged alongside the car as it sped off, causing him injuries. Police later found four iPhones, one iMac computer, and one Toshiba laptop at the offender’s home, each of which was traced to its owners.

The offender pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and handling stolen goods.

It was not alleged the offender had entered the house. The judge said he was charged with the offences as he was complicit or acting in concert with the intruders who entered the house, assaulted the father, and stole the victim’s car.

The judge said it had been a terrifying experience for the victims, with on-going consequences for them. The judge said the offender must have known the items brought to his home were stolen, and it was obvious he could not have cared less.

The judge said it was paramount the sentence send a message to the community that invading people’s homes and assaulting them would give rise to stern consequences. The judge said specific deterrence was also a relevant sentencing principle because the incident occurred when the offender was on bail in relation to the same type of offending.

A pre-sentence report found the young offender (aged 19) had behaved well on remand, had completed vocational courses while in custody, was remorseful and had insight into his offending and had the support of his family. The judge said these factors were relevant in sentencing.

The offender was sentenced to two years and eight months in a Youth Detention Centre.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018