Armed burglar attacks resident

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A burglar who bashed and slashed a resident with a golf club and knife in the victim’s own home in Dandenong has been jailed.

Alan Wazin, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, recklessly causing injury, theft and obtaining property by deception in the Victorian County Court.

Wazin entered the victim’s unit, armed with the club and intending to assault the victim on the afternoon of 18 July 2019, Judge Michael Tinney said.

The 32-year-old victim had been asleep when a woman knocked on the front door. As he went to the front, Wazin entered through the back door.

Wazin then started yelling for the man to give her money. He struck the victim with the club, once to the body and once to the face.

The intruder then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and demanded the victim’s money, wallet and the PIN number for a key card.

In a struggle, the victim’s finger and shoulder were cut by the knife. The injuries required “minor” stitches.

Wazin shortly after used the stolen card at an ATM and a bottle shop.

At the time, Wazin was on youth parole and had been granted bail on charges of attempted robbery and recklessly causing injury eight days earlier.

In sentencing on 6 October, Judge Tinney described Wazin’s police interview after his arrest as “a bit of a shambles” – an “unrealistic and pretty unsatisfactory and incomplete account”.

It was most likely that the woman provided a “distraction” – and Wazin’s claims she had been inappropriately touched were a “pretext”.

Wazin’s “most disadvantaged and dysfunctional” background included coming to Australia from South Sudan via a refugee camp in Kenya at the age of five, Judge Tinney noted.

It helped to explain Wazin’s “descent into drugs”.

“There was no joy in the first phase of your life in Africa and not much more in the second phase of your life in this country either.

“It is just the way cards fell for you and it really was not much of a hand.

“Your falling foul of the law is, in a way, really quite predictable, but I should say you are not powerless in all of this.”

Wazin’s remorse, youthfulness and early guilty plea were noted, but courts had so far failed to lead him away from making “poor choices”.

He had “some prospects” of rehabilitation but they were “increasingly slim”.

Wazin was also at risk of deportation.

Judge Tinney said aggravated burglary was an “inherently dangerous crime and one that can escalate out of control”.

“It did here; blossoming into the other criminal conduct within the house that I am dealing with.”

The attack “shook the victim’s confidence” and made him feel “insecure” and “unsafe” in his own home.

Wazin was jailed for up to two years and 10 months, including a 20-month non-parole period.

He had spent 441 days of the sentence in pre-sentence detention.