A burglar who tried to flee a crime scene fell asleep while being held down by a piece of timber and police had to wake him up when they arrived.
A recently published ACT Supreme Court judgment states that Daniel Ronald Po'oi, 35, and a co-accused in February 2020 forced entry into a Holt residential building that was at the lockup stage during its construction.
When they were exiting, they were disturbed by three neighbours who said they were calling the police, triggering Po'oi, who was on parole at the time, to bolt.
However, he was chased and caught by one neighbour while another used a piece of timber to hold him down.
By the time police arrived, Po'oi fell asleep and had to be woken up before tools and a serrated knife were found on him.
After being arrested, police considered him too intoxicated by illicit drugs to be interviewed.
The co-accused managed to get away and has not been identified by police.
Three months later while on bail, Po'oi failed to steal a Mazda before stealing an Audi from a Weston garage after being disturbed by the owner, who told him to "get the f--k out of my car".
Other offending included Po'oi driving in Higgins in November 2019 when he tested positive to drugs during a police stop.
A month later, he instigated a police pursuit that included him driving on a footpath after exiting Calwell Shopping Centre.
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Po'oi pleaded guilty to two counts each of burglary and stealing a car, as well as one of possessing a knife without reasonable excuse.
His sentence was a 39-month jail term, suspended after he served about two months.
In his sentencing remarks, acting Justice Richard Refshauge said Po'oi had a "troubling criminal history" that consists of 31 offences, including traffic, robbery and grievous bodily harm.
He described the Holt burglary as being aggravated because damage had been done.
"People are entitled to feel safe in their own homes and burglaries, even when the occupants are not present, violate that feeling," he said.
"I have no evidence as to Mr Po'oi's motivation, apart from the fact that he was well under the influence of illicit drugs.
"There is no evidence of any particular planning or premeditation, though Mr Po'oi did have various screwdrivers and tools."
Acting Justice Refshauge said while civic-minded citizens were to be congratulated for their help, he was not sure if it rendered the burglary more serious.
He described Po'oi's stealing of an Audi as opportunistic and his knife possession as not a serious example as it was not removed from a bag even when he was chased.
The suspended jail term, backdated to December last year, was made as part of a drug and alcohol treatment order until February 2023.
The judge also made an order for Po'oi to engage in a restorative justice process.
"He has, without prompting, displayed insight into the effect of his actions on the victims and the wider community," Acting Justice Refshauge said.
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