Notorious Canberra criminal Matthew James Massey has been sentenced for unleashing a night of violence in a family’s home, during which he called a 16-year-old a “maggot” after attacking the boy’s father.
The 45-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of assault and burglary before being jailed for up to three years in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday (18 January) for what the judge called “a serious breach of the civility and peace of the community”.
Acting Justice Richard Refshauge said Massey had been staying with his friend and their family, including the 16-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister, in the suburb of Flynn in 2020.
These had been a “troublesome” few weeks, Justice Refshauge said, including when Massey chased his friend around the house and threatened him, forcing the friend and his partner to leave and stay at a hotel.
On 24 September 2020, the victim had fallen asleep while playing video games on the Xbox when Massey arrived back at the house, and they got into an argument over the latter’s girlfriend.
“What the f-k are you doing, Matty?” the victim said, also telling him to “f-k off” while pointing at his door.
Justice Refshauge said a violent struggle began between the pair and the victim received a puncture to his abdomen.
While it was not entirely clear what caused this wound, he said it could have been a penknife.
The victim’s son woke up to the sounds of the commotion and went to stand at his young sister’s door because he was scared for her safety.
The boy yelled at Massey to leave, to which he replied, “shut your maggot mouth”.
The victim armed himself with a Bundi stick, a tool used by First Nations people, and ran after Massey, but stopped when he felt blood and realised his chest was tight.
He was taken to hospital where it was discovered he had a 3-cm wound that resulted in the collapse of part of his lung.
Justice Refshauge said when the victim told Massey to leave, this ended his licence to be in the house and made him a trespasser there.
He said the incident happened in the sight and hearing of children who were obviously quite frightened, and as Massey had been friends with their father for years, it was difficult to accept that he wouldn’t have known they were in the house.
Justice Refshauge said Massey had an extensive and serious criminal history of 53 offences as an adult, including armed robbery, kidnapping and escaping custody, and by 2016 he had spent 14 years of his adult life behind bars.
He did have a life marred by childhood disadvantage and severe drug and alcohol use, Justice Refshauge said, but had made “little and tentative” steps towards rehabilitation.
“These offences were nasty, they were bad, they were not good,” he told Massey.
“You’re old enough now to grow out of this kind of stuff and to start doing the right thing and being a father to your kids.”
He was given a non-parole period of one year and five months’ jail, and as the time he has already spent in custody was taken into account, he is eligible to be released on parole in March 2022.