A former dump truck driver has been jailed for randomly trying to burglarise homes in a north Canberra street – a crime spree that left the children in one of the homes too scared to sleep alone.
Bradley Caine Anthony Dawson, aged in his early 30s, was sentenced to three years and eight months’ jail by the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday (31 March), with an 18-month non-parole period that means he is not eligible to be released until September 2023.
He and two other men agreed to commit burglaries in Throsby on 20 April 2021 and in the early hours of the morning he inspected and tried to enter four properties.
Then, at about 2 am, he broke into a home’s al fresco area, riffled through cupboards and used garden shears to smash the window of a Toyota Kluger to rummage inside it.
Meanwhile, his co-offenders broke into another home without him where one threatened a woman with a curved knife and demanded her wallet and money and stole laptops.
The trio later drove to Casey where they stole a Suzuki Vitara, a handbag and a phone.
One of the victims of Dawson’s attempted burglaries wrote a statement for the court, detailing the fear and insecurity they had suffered, particularly the children who were afraid to sleep alone for a time afterwards.
Dawson, a father-of-one himself, was raised in Western Australia. While he was on welfare payments at the time of the offences, at one point he worked casually as a dump truck driver in a mine.
Acting Justice Verity McWilliam said Dawson had behaved opportunistically by trying houses sequentially along a street. Substance abuse was the primary factor underpinning his behaviour.
She said his criminal history began in 2011 when he was 21 and included previous charges of burglary and theft. At the time of the most recent crimes he was on parole for similar offences.
His “clear pattern of reoffending” did reduce the opportunities for leniency, she said, and while he had already spent more than 11 months in custody that time was all related to his previous offending.
“He is clearly deeply unhappy with his current life course,” Acting Justice McWilliam said.
Dawson had pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted burglary, two of aggravated burglary, two of theft, as well as single counts of burglary, damaging property and riding in a vehicle without consent.