A judge warned a scaffolder against attempting to take the law into his own hands when he sentenced him for a home invasion and assault.
Dylan Crick, 24, forced his way into a man’s home and punched him in the head after he believed his victim had committed serious offences against members of his friendship group.
The ACT Supreme Court judgements for Crick and co-offender Letitia Humphries, 21, show they had been at the adult entertainment Wanderlust Club in Mitchell last July with a group of people and began to discuss their future victim.
The group believed this man had committed serious offences against several of its members and that his phone contained evidence of his alleged crimes.
Some of them drove to the man’s north Canberra home, intending to threaten him so he would delete the alleged evidence. They forced their way inside the house by pushing past his mother and pregnant sister.
They found the man in his bedroom. One smashed a decorative glass plate over his head, while Crick himself punched the man twice in the head and demanded his phone.
The group left the man’s home with two mobile phones, which they later destroyed.
The man refused to be taken to hospital by paramedics, but his sister was taken to hospital for observation due to her pregnancy and a high blood pressure reading.
Humphries, a hospitality worker studying business administration at the Canberra Institute of Technology, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary after entering the man’s home, although she did not assault him.
In April, ACT Supreme Court Justice David Mossop said her role was less serious than those who entered the building with her.
“The offence involved drunken and drug-affected vigilante justice arising from perceived wrongs of the victim,” Justice Mossop said.
He sentenced her to 12 months’ jail, suspended for a two-year good behaviour order and 80 hours of community service.
Court documents show another co-offender, 27-year-old Morgan Facer, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting aggravated burglary over her role in the incident. She was sentenced in December to a two-year good behaviour order and 200 hours of community service.
Crick spent four days in custody before he later pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.
In the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday (1 June), his barrister Katrina Musgrove of Key Chambers said her client had been kept in isolation while in custody out of fear of retribution against him. He was only allowed out of his cell for one hour a day.
In a letter, Crick’s father said his son “realises the gravity of his actions and the damaging effect they have had not only on the victims but also on others involved and his family members”.
Justice Michael Elkaim said originally Crick did not express sympathy for his victims, but he had expressed remorse since then.
“While to some extent understandable, his actions are not excused,” he said.
“People must not take the law into their own hands.
“Vigilantism can be as criminal as the conduct it seeks to address.”
Justice Elkaim said Crick was under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol when he committed his crimes, but drug tests since then confirmed he was no longer a user.
He sentenced him to 15 months’ jail, to be served via an intensive corrections order, a community-based sentenced that meant he was able to walk out of the courts that day.