“I still remember the cold, sharp feeling of the metal against my skin and the voices of demands.”
A young woman made the comment when recalling the terrifying moment she woke to find intruders in her home before one threatened her dog with a knife, then held the blade to her neck.
Earlier in February, 27-year-old Marley Hall was sentenced by the ACT Supreme Court over his role in the traumatic intrusion, the details of which are outlined in sentencing remarks by Justice Michael Elkaim.
Justice Elkaim said agreed facts of the case stated Hall and two others first tried to force their way into a home in Narrabundah on 12 August 2020 while armed with a shotgun, sword and knife.
They were unable to get in and fled, but later that same morning, they entered a unit in the south Canberra suburb of Gordon while its sole resident, a woman in her 20s, was asleep.
The woman said she was woken up by the armed intruders and saw Hall threatening her dog with a long knife.
When she pushed the knife away, Hall held it to her neck.
The intruders threatened to kill her and ransacked her unit, stealing a large amount of her belongings.
The woman spent months in therapy after the home invasion. She said she was unable to leave her home and, at one stage, had to sleep in her parents’ bedroom.
“Seeing people in masks, due to COVID-19, has brought back many memories,” Justice Elkaim said.
“It is difficult to describe the terror she must have felt. I am not surprised at her extended period of suffering.
“No doubt the offenders had absolutely no thought for the welfare of their victim when they committed the crime.”
Hall, who already had a significant criminal record, was on parole and breached his bail when he broke into her home. He pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery.
His lawyer asked for a shorter non-parole period as rehabilitation was important, but the Crown argued “the public was entitled to a break” from his criminal exploits.
Hall was sentenced to five years and one month’s jail with a non-parole period of three-and-a-half years, meaning he is eligible to be released in August 2025.
His co-offenders had been referred to the Drug and Alcohol Sentencing List.