Armed Robbery – CCO

This is a case of Armed Robbery and CCO involving a young accused.

Our client was charged with Armed Robbery and Attempted Armed Robbery. Through negotiation, the Armed Robbery charge did not proceed and was replaced with Aggravated Burglary and Theft charges. The matter resolved at committal mention stage and our client pleaded guilty without proceeding to trial.

What is alleged to have occured?
The offending related to two separate incidents on the same day. In the first incident, our client and his co-accused disguised themselves and attempted to rob a man and his girlfriend while armed with a bat and crowbar. The offenders eventually retreated and did not obtain any property.

The second incident occurred at a milk bar. Our client and the co-accused entered the premises, again armed and disguised, and stole a cash register with takings. The owner of the business was in a back room while this occurred and witnessed the theft on CCTV footage.

Both instances of offending were fuelled by use of the drug ice on the part of both accused.

What happened at court?
We provided legal representation for the client at the Melbourne County Court.

Our client was remanded into custody following his arrest on the charges. We proceeded with a bail application on the same day which eventually was granted by the court. Our client was bailed to a residential drug rehabilitation facility and he went on to complete the month-long stay successfully.

We made submissions for a CCO and relied on various matters. Our client was 22 years of age and so his youth was of real significance in the sentencing exercise. There is a well-established case law supporting the proposition that where the court is dealing with a young or youthful offender, rehabilitation will usually assume great importance in the sentencing exercise and may outweigh other sentencing principles. Gaol is to be avoided where possible. The court accepted that the principles applicable to youthful offenders should be applied in full in this case.

In support of that, we tendered a considerable bundle of plea material which demonstrated our client as continuing to engage in treatment and rehabilitation for his drug addiction since the time of the offending. He was also employed and we had confirmation of same. Employment is key towards continued rehabilitation. Also, our materials showed that he was supported by a loving and caring family. They had made changes in their own lives to assist, in any way they could, and support our client through his drug addiction.

Importantly, we called oral evidence from two family members who outlined their relationship with our client, and the steps he and the family had taken to address the substance abuse issues our client faced. Oral evidence can be much more powerful than the written word and, in this case, the court was impressed by what was put.

This is really where the value of the bail application became evident. Had our client remained in custody prior to the plea, he would not have been able to engage in such positive rehabilitation and this would have impacted on the submissions that we were able to make at the plea hearing. A case of Armed Robbery resulting in a CCO would not have been possible.

In terms of other matters, our client’s limited criminal history – which we submitted – was of little relevance in the sentencing exercise. Further, we were able to rely on the early plea of guilty and the utility and ease this brings to the court and to witnesses.

What was the result?
Ultimately at the plea, the court was persuaded not to imprison our client. The court accepted that our client demonstrated real remorse, which is not always easy to establish. The case which originally centred on the charge of Armed Robbery resulted in a CCO (Community Corrections Order). This was an excellent result because this kind of offending ordinarily attracts a significant gaol term.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 28/06/2017