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      Pleading guilty: No jail for Robbery of 80 year old victim, Enter Dwelling House and Possess Prohibited Drug charges despite prior record

      Our client is a 23-year-old man from Sydney’s Western Suburbs.
      On one particular night he was in the gambling section at a pub in the city.
      CCTV footage showed our client looking at an elderly Asian man who had just won $1,000 on a pokies machine.
      CCTV footage then showed our client follow the elderly man as he left the pub and walked home.
      Eventually, our client was seen on CCTV running up from behind the elderly man and striking him down. Our client then rummaged through the victim’s pockets and retrieved the cash from his wallet.
      A few days later, in an unrelated incident, our client was evicted from his residence.
      Feeling aggrieved, our client returned to the residence a few days later and stole a plasma TV as well as an Xbox and some video games.
      He was captured doing this on the apartment’s CCTV.
      Police took over six months to conclude their investigation at which stage they charged our client with Robbery for the taking of the wallet and Enter Dwelling House with Intent for the taking of the TV, Xbox and games.
      When Police conducted a search of our client’s apartment they located the TV, Xbox and games. They also discovered a small amount of cannabis.
      Our client came to us and advised us he had no memory of stealing the wallet from the elderly man.
      However, he acknowledged that he had returned to his residence and taken the items alleged because he was upset at having been evicted.
      Significantly, our client advised that at the time of both offences he had been heavily affected by drugs and alcohol.
      We immediately arranged for our client to attend a residential rehabilitation program while the case progressed.
      We also engaged in negotiations with the Director of Public prosecutions and were able to amend the facts for the Robbery offences so that our client striking the elderly man was amended to a ‘push’.
      Further, the ‘Enter Dwelling House with Intent’ and ‘Possess Prohibited Drug’ charges were placed on a ‘Form 1’ which meant our client did not receive a separate sentence for those offences.
      At the sentencing Hearing, we tendered significant material including a lengthy psychologist report, a letter from the rehabilitation facility and numerous character references evidencing the change in our client from the time of the offences to now.
      Despite the prosecution arguing strongly for a sentence of full-time imprisonment to be imposed, the Judge at Downing Centre District Court sentenced our client to an ‘intensive correction order’ (ie. community service, supervision and counselling – no prison) for a period of 18 months.
      Our client and his family were elated with the result.

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