A masked teen who overpowered an elderly woman to steal her purse will serve out a 10-month jail term in the community.
Tyrone Douglas Scott, 19, took the 85-year-old by surprise in her garage at Narromine in what was described as a “cowardly” act.
Scott, who now lives at Dubbo, pleaded guilty to charges of stealing from the person and enter dwelling with intent to steal.
In Dubbo Local Court magistrate Paul Hayes sentenced Scott to a 10-month jail term to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order (ICO), under strict supervision for the stealing offence.
Mr Hayes also directed Scott to perform 100 hours of community service, so he could “contribute positively” and give back to “the community you have robbed”.
The husband of the victim was present as the sentence was handed down, and was acknowledged by the magistrate.
The offence occurred on January 26, at the address the woman had lived at for more than 20 years, court documents show.
She had her purse and car keys in her hands because she intended to drive, and was waiting for her husband.
Scott walked towards her, his face concealed by a black cloth mask, and demanded her wallet.
The scared woman started kicking and screaming but after a brief struggle, the offender overpowered her and took her purse.
He didn’t pick on someone his own size, he picked on an elderly woman in her own home.The solicitor for the Crown
The woman did not receive any injuries.
The purse contained a $5 note, coins and her cars, and was ultimately recovered.
Scott was originally charged with robbery and aggravated enter dwelling, but those charges were later withdrawn by the Crown.
The defence conceded it was a serious set of offences, aggravated by occurring in a home and by the elderly victim’s vulnerability.
The solicitor said reports to the court showed the offence was fuelled by Scott’s dependency on the drug ice, and that since then the substance abuse had been minimised.
“Community safety looms large in cases such as this,” the solicitor said.
He cited a judgement, and submitted community safety was more successfully achieved by rehabilitation rather than sending an offender back into jail where they could “regress” and leave as a greater risk to the community.
The Crown submitted it was a “cowardly offence” by Scott.
“He didn’t pick on someone his own size, he picked on an elderly woman in her own home,” the solicitor for the Crown said.
In sentencing, the magistrate said the victim was vulnerable because of her age.
The Crown aptly described the offence as ‘cowardly’, it was nothing short of that.Magistrate Paul Hayes
“The Crown aptly described the offence as ‘cowardly’, it was nothing short of that,” Mr Hayes said.
The magistrate accepted the offence was not “organised” but found it involved some planning with the cloth mask.
He noted the victim impact statement, in which she described the concern and loss she had suffered.
Scott’s youth was also an important factor, Mr Hayes said.
There were good prospects for rehabilitation, not just because of the offender’s age, but also his completion of a drug rehabilitation program, he said.
The more than three-month period Scott had been remanded in custody before being bailed was also taken into account.
Taking into account all those matters, Mr Hayes said he was satisfied no penalty other than a term of imprisonment was appropriate, to be served by way of an ICO.
For the enter dwelling offence, Scott was convicted and sentenced to a two-year community correction order, with supervision.
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