What started with fantasising about doing “skids” in a BMW a getaway driver and his mates hoped to steal ended in tragedy, as not only does their victim have lasting pain, one of the co-offenders later died.
According to a recent ACT Supreme Court judgment, the events started when Dale Jaiden Migotto was smoking cannabis while travelling in a Suzuki Swift with four other people on 21 June 2020.
The group talked about how they could use a copper pipe in the car to attack another person and how they could use it to help them steal another vehicle.
At some point, the Swift was pulled over by police and the driver was arrested, so Migotto got behind the wheel, and the remaining friends continued their journey and their discussion about stealing a car.
“The intent in doing so was perhaps to go to Batemans Bay or perform ‘skids’. It is not clear why this could not have been done in the Suzuki,” Justice Michael Elkaim said.
At around 9 pm, Migotto saw a black BMW in the Erindale Shopping Centre’s car park and liked the look of it.
“That’s a good car. Imagine the skids we could do in that and imagine how much it would be worth if we sold it,” he said.
The others agreed and they decided to try to steal the car.
Two of Migotto’s comrades, a 15-year-old girl carrying the copper pipe and a 19-year-old man with a flick knife, approached the owner when she returned to the car, demanded her money and tried to snatch her car keys.
She told them to go away, showing “significant resilience”, Justice Elkaim said. After threatening and making some contact with her, the duo fled back to their car and Migotto drove off.
The victim wrote a statement for the court, describing the attempted robbery as a “heinous, horrendous and hideous violation of my inner self as a human being”.
She has significant pain in her shoulder and recalled the events every day for six months after they happened.
“Mentally, my state of mind was shattered,” she said.
“This trauma has changed me and I have to live with and deal with the ramifications every day, but I hope that I never have to experience this again.”
Migotto was arrested on 3 July 2020 and spent one day in custody.
“He was, in effect, a getaway driver making himself available to speedily drive his colleagues away, should this become necessary,” Justice Elkaim said.
“He was aware of the intent of stealing the BMW and he knew about the copper pipe which he could have envisaged to have been used as a weapon.”
Justice Elkaim said Migotto had written a letter for the court talking about the shame he felt as well as “his realisation of his erroneous ways”, which had been brought to “stark reality” by the death of his 19-year-old co-accused after he was released from prison.
“I have read [the victim’s] victim impact statement and I feel so disgusted at myself at the effects this offence has had on her,” Migotto said.
The mother of the now-deceased 19-year-old also wrote to the court, saying there had been a “massive change” in Migotto, and he provided her support after her son’s death.
Migotto, a 21-year-old labourer who volunteers for the Cancer Council, pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting an attempted aggravated robbery.
On 12 October, he was sentenced to almost five months’ jail, fully suspended for a 12-month good behaviour order.
The 15-year-old girl had been given a 12-month good behaviour order and the 19-year-old man had been sentenced to two years’ jail with a non-parole period of 10 months.