Law and Penalties for Robbery Offences in NSW

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.

 

A 27-year-old woman from Melbourne who coordinated a ruthless home invasion after finding out that her friend, a cancer patient, had received a six-figure inheritance, has been sentenced and will spend at least four years behind bars.

It is reported that in April last year, Kristy Patricia Avdulla – sister to one of Australia’s leading jockeys, Brenton Avdulla – visited a friend at his Frankston home in south-east Melbourne, after discovering that he was undergoing treatment for heart and pancreatic cancer, and had become the beneficiary of a $144,000 inheritance.

At the time Ms Avdulla arrived, her friend was at home alone.

Not long after, a man dressed in black and wearing a mask suddenly appeared at the home, and with the assistance of Ms Avdulla, attacked the sick friend as he sat in his loungeroom.

Stunned, the victim asked the man who he was and what he wanted.

“You,” the man replied.

The masked man then seized the sick patient, wrapping his hands around his throat before he was thrashed to the ground, choked and demanded to stop struggling.

 

Victim Has Eyes and Mouth Bound with Duct Tape; Cable Ties Used on His Arms and Hands

The brutality did not stop there, however.

At this point, the sick man begged Ms Avdulla to help him.

Instead, she took the victim’s own duct tape and bound his eyes, mouth, face and ankles.

She then taped the man’s arms to his torso before using cable ties to secure his arms and hands.

The burgling duo then went on to raid the victim’s home, stealing three laptops, three mobile phones and two tablets.

They also forced the man to surrender his online banking password – which they obtained by kicking him in the stomach.

The vicious attack left the victim, now aged 58, with bruising on the brain, a broken nose and fractured ribs.

 

Neighbour Arrives at Victim’s Home After Hearing Him Screaming

According to court documents, the helpless man remained tied up on the floor of his bathroom before a neighbour arrived at his home following hearing his screams.

The neighbour kicked down the door, which had been locked by Ms Avdulla and her accomplice, and thereafter spent 20 minutes cutting the man free.

The cancer patient was quickly transported to hospital where he spent the next four days undergoing treatment for serious head wounds.

All the while, court documents reveal Ms Avdulla transferred enormous amounts of money to herself from the victim’s accounts, using descriptions such as “car” and “car loan”.

She also withdrew $4,000 in cash, transferred $30,000 to her own bank accounts.

Additionally, a mere 90 minutes after the ruthless home invasion, the woman also tried to purchase a 55cm gold chain from an online Michael Hill jewellery store worth $12,999, however the order was cancelled before it could be sent.

In June, Ms Avdulla was arrested after police discovered her in a stolen car.

Meanwhile, her DNA was found on the duct tape, linking her to the home invasion.

 

Ms Avdulla Pleads Guilty to 11 Charges

On 12 August 2020, Ms Avdulla faced Victoria’s County Court where she pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including aggravated burglary, intentionally causing injury and false imprisonment.

She was sentenced to six years and 14 days in jail by Judge Susan Pullen, who described the act on the man was “cowardly”.

“I regard the behaviour of Avdulla particularly callous and cowardly,’ Judge Pullen said.

“A bit of cunningness about all of this.”

Ms Avdulla will have to serve four years of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.

Law and Penalties for Robbery Offences in NSW

Amongst the various types of robbery charges, there is the NSW charges of robbery and aggravated robbery.

Robbery is essentially stealing from a person. It also includes an assault with the intention to rob under section 94 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The offence of robbery occurs if you take and carry away property that is owned by someone else or in possession by someone without their consent, provided you did this with the intention to permanently deprive that person of the same.

A person will not be guilty if he/she at the time held a genuine belief that he/she was entitled to the property that was stolen. This applies even if that belief was wrong as long as it was a belief genuinely held.

The offence of robbery in NSW carries a penalty of up to 14-years in jail.

The offence of aggravated robbery in NSW attract a penalty of up to 20-years in jail.

‘Circumstances of aggravation’ here includes circumstances that involve any the use of corporal violence on a person, where the offender intentionally or recklessly causes actual bodily harm on a person or where the offender deprives anyone’s liberty either immediately prior to, at the time of, or immediately after the robbery offence, assault or stealing offence.

Where robbery occurs resulting in wounding or grievous bodily harm on any person, the maximum penalty is up to 25-years imprisonment.

If a person robs another person and at the time is also in company of another person, the maximum penalty is up to 20-years imprisonment.

As for robbery type offences, the courts when considering a sentence or penalty upon an offender, will consider the Henry guideline judgement reflected in the case of R v Henry (1999) 46 NSWLR 346.

Have a question? Get in touch with our experienced criminal lawyers in Blacktown today to book a free first consult.

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