A burglary in which three people broke into a home while a 76-year-old woman slept was described as a “terrifying incident” by Launceston Magistrate Ken Stanton.
Joshua Michael Brown, 32, of Rocherlea, and two others broke into the Western Creek home about 3.15am on April 26, 2020, and stole jewellery and electrical items worth $20,000.
Brown had also pleaded guilty to a wide range offences including burglary and stealing and firearms offences over the period from November 2019.
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Defence counsel Lucy Flanagan sought that Mr Stanton consider Brown for a drug treatment order, an alternative to actual imprisonment.
She said that Brown had believed the house was unoccupied when the aggravated burglary took place.
“They were shocked when there was a voice from the bedroom,” she said.
She said the perpetrators had asked the woman to stay in bed and not come out.
“The first thing they should have done was leave immediately rather than stay another ten minutes,” Mr Stanton said.
“That is a terrifying incident.”
“It makes me wonder whether a drug treatment order is even appropriate and whether he should be released into the community.”
The court heard previously Brown and two others travelled to the area because they believed there was a lot of money in the house.
They went to Longford where used a stolen credit card to withdraw $1000 from an ATM of which Brown took $800.
Ms Flanagan said about $12,000 of the stolen property had been recovered.
The court heard that Brown was on court bail at the time of the offence and was under the influence of methylamphetamine. He told police that he was using $200-400 of methylamphetamine a day.
The sentencing process was drawn out because Brown was unable to find a suitable address to serve the drug treatment order.
Ms Flanagan sought his release on a bail order until a further hearing on September 19 to allow him to demonstrate that he was serious about the DTO.
She said that Brown had been released 28 days early by the Tasmanian Prison Service in November 2018 and had been forced to serve the remainder of the sentence when police picked him up.
“He panicked and did not believe it was fair that he had to go back in for 28 days,” she said.
The serving of the sentence caused him to lose support and relationships.
The court heard that at the time of the aggravated burglary Brown was the beneficiary of two suspended sentences dating from 2018, one of four months and another of 28 days.
Earlier this year Mr Stanton activated the suspended sentences for other offences and backdated them to May 1.
Brown has other matters for hearing on September 17.
Mr Stanton adjourned sentencing until Friday, September 4 at 2.15pm.