DPP v Tufuga [2016] VCC 599

Sentence summary: Armed robbery

On two separate occasions, and in different locations, the offender stole items of clothing from shops, with the items valued, in total, at around $500. The items included sporting apparel and underwear.

On another occasion the offender held up a convenience store. Initially the offender stood in line behind some customers, but after a few moments he ran past the customers and jumped over the counter and through the security wires. He then produced a pair of scissors and said to the attendant: ‘Give me the cash. Where’s the cash?’ The attendant said: ‘Don’t hurt me. I’ll give you what you want.’ The offender escaped with $500 in cash and cigarettes.

At the time of the robbery the offender was wearing a mask over his face and gloves. After leaving the convenience store he changed clothes in order to evade police.

The offender pleaded guilty to charges including theft and armed robbery.

The judge found the offending was brazen and serious and very frightening for the store attendant and customers. The judge said the offending could not be considered to be ‘spur of the moment’. He said the offender’s possession of the scissors and his ability to change clothes to evade police after the robbery showed planning and forethought.

The judge took into account the offender’s early guilty plea and full co-operation with authorities, as well as his youth (he was 23 at the time of offending) and remorse. While he had prior convictions for non-violent offences, he had recently turned his life around by reuniting with his partner and family. The judge said the offender’s prospects for rehabilitation were reasonable.

The offender was sentenced to a four-year Community Corrections Order, combined with 73 days’ pre-sentence detention already served.

As part of the CCO, the offender was required to undergo drug testing and be judicially monitored by the Court. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid community work.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018