Robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon / resist arrest: DPP v VCN

Robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon, Section 97(1) Crimes Act 1900 – use of an offensive weapon to resist arrest, Section 33B(1)(a) Crimes Act 1900 – sentencing hearing – subjective factors


VCN was involved in the robbery of a restaurant in Haymarket in Sydney. While another offender forced the shop owner to hand over the money in the till, VCN used a small knife to threaten a customer near the door into handing over his wallet. VCN then assisted with removing the cash drawer of the till.

VCN doubled up as the driver of the getaway vehicle, a silver Honda. The registration number of the vehicle was taken down by two nearby bouncers, which allowed police to track the vehicle and wait outside of VCN’s home. VCN returned home and was parking the Honda when a police vehicle appeared and blocked him into the parking space. VCN attempted to ram his way out of the parking space. When he was unsuccessful, he stopped the car and was arrested.

VCN was charged with two counts of armed robbery and one count of using a weapon to resist arrest. He plead guilty to the robbery charges, and was found guilty of the resist arrest charge. His case proceeded to sentencing.


After submissions, the judge determined that the current case fell within the category of case covered by the R v Henry guideline judgement. In R v Henry, as in the current case, the offender was young, did not plan the crime to any significant degree, used a weapon capable of serious injury yet only caused limited injury, took only a small amount and entered a plea of guilty. Because the current case conformed to the guideline judgement, the court was limited to a narrow range of sentences. The defence also submitted that VCN’s crime was motivated by a desperation to fund his expensive ice habit. VCN was so desperate for money that he pawned a bracelet with the names of his children on it. His partner and children left him because of his offending.

VCN was sentenced to five years imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years. Given time already served, VCN was immensely relieved that he would be eligible for parole in two months time.


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