DPP v Tomuli [2016] VCC 1737

Sentence summary: Aggravated burglary

The offender and two co-accused drove a car to an apartment where the victim and his partner lived, intending to extort money they believed was owed for drugs. The offenders rang the intercom and said they had the apartment surrounded. When the victim said his partner was not there, the offender held up a double-barrelled shotgun and threatened to shoot the door in. The victim went onto a second-floor balcony and told the offenders he had called his partner, who was on his way home. One of the co-accused told the victim again that he would shoot the door in if he did not open it. The victim saw the offender pointing the gun at him and called out for help. One of the co-offenders threw a metal pole at him and the three then ran to the car and drove away. When police arrived a short while later, the victim saw the door handle was bent, the door scratched and the lock damaged. Two CCTV cameras set up at the address had also been ripped down.

The offender pleaded guilty to charges including attempted aggravated burglary, criminal damage and being a non-prohibited person possessing an unregistered weapon.

The judge found the attempted aggravated burglary was particularly serious. Although the shotgun was allegedly unloaded, the offender’s actions captured on the CCTV footage made it clear to the occupants of the premises that he had a gun and was threatening to use it. The damage to the door and CCTV cameras highlighted the frightening nature of his actions.

The judge took into account the offender’s early plea of guilty, however he said he was not persuaded it allowed him to infer the offender had significant remorse.

The judge said the relative youth of the offender (22) made rehabilitation an important consideration, however he said it was important to denounce and deter such offending, and to protect the community.

The offender was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018