Robber blows his chance of freedom
A Canberra man who robbed a blind man is back behind bars after being given one last chance to prove his worth - and then getting kicked out of rehab and going on the lam.
Miles Plowright found himself back in the territory yesterday after being extradited from Sydney's Silverwater jail.
The 20-year-old man's fate was already hanging in the balance, with a magistrate offering to suspend his sentence if he cleaned his act up. Plowright pleaded guilty to a string of charges earlier this year - two aggravated burglaries, thefts, traffic offences and possessing a knife.
In December Plowright, who had no prior convictions, waited outside a Kambah home in the car while his mates ransacked the place, stealing DVDs and other items. The court heard one of his accomplices had done some gardening for the man before and targeted him because of his eye-sight problems, although Plowright swore he didn't know he was blind.
Magistrate Beth Campbell gave the troubled burglar a chance in May, deferring his sentence and bailing him to attend a Surry Hills rehabilitation facility.
She said Plowright must either embrace the program as a chance to become ''the man you think you might be'', or find himself back behind bars.
But he lasted just two weeks before Odyssey House kicked him out of the program, allegedly for smoking cannabis at the centre and ''harassing'' another patient.
Plowright failed to show up for a court date in August, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was later charged with an unrelated offence in Wollongong and bailed, with Canberra detectives applying for his extradition from NSW this week.
Plowright applied for bail yesterday, with his mother offering a surety, but the prosecution opposed his release.
The court heard Plowright was already on bail for a serious alleged offence when he was accused of committing another, and as such had to prove special circumstances.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker wasn't satisfied the case was special or exceptional, and said in any event the risk of Plowright fleeing the territory was too great.
The lasting trauma of the burglary was detailed in a victim impact statement tendered in court.
''When you broke into my house and trashed it, stealing and breaking things, I felt you had taken advantage of my disability,'' the victim wrote.
He said the robbers had taken a medical alert necklace and thrown it down the drain; the ransacking left him unable to find his way around his home by memory.
''My disability meant nothing to you, and it is now something I should hide from people and feel vulnerable because of it,'' he wrote.
The case is due back before Ms Campbell in November.