AN ARMED robber who stole a gold watch and money from a Castlemaine couple during a drug-fuelled attack has been jailed for more than three years.
Justin Garipoli, 29, was sentenced in the County Court on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of armed robbery.
The court heard Garipoli and co-offender Rebecca Sawka set upon the two victims on a Castlemaine street in the early hours of July 5 last year.
The couple were waiting in the car for another associate when Garipoli and Sawka pulled up behind them in a black Suzuki Swift.
Read more court: Woman given good behaviour bond after being the victim of a scammer
The female victim assumed it was her friends so she unlocked the back passenger door and Sawka entered.
Garipoli then walked to the front passenger side door, banged on the window, and ordered the male victim to open the door.
He then reached through the open part of the passenger window and unlocked the door while holding a box cutter in his hand.
Garipoli demanded money and threatened to give the victim a scar.
The female driver tried to start the car but Sawka punched her to the back of the head and nose.
Garipoli demanded the male passenger hand over his gold chain, which he did, before also demanding his watch.
The female victim grabbed the watch before Garipoli could grab it and told him that she would transfer him money instead.
Garipoli agreed, before saying he would steal their car unless she transferred more money.
The woman transferred $490 to Garipoli's bank account using his mobile phone number. He then demanded the woman hand over the watch or he would take the car.
She handed it over and Sawka punched the male passenger in the face, before the two offenders drove off in their Suzuki Swift.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Fiona Todd said the offending was "somewhat unsophisticated" as Garipoli told the victims his own bank account details.
Judge Todd said she accepted that Garipoli had an ice addiction and was using up to seven grams per day at the time of the offending.
The judge also noted the 29-year-old had an "unstable" childhood where he was physically and sexually abused before he began using drugs as a teenager.
Judge Todd said Garipoli's prior convictions started in 2015 and were "compact but worrying".
The judge said while it was good that Garipoli was abstaining from drugs while in custody, the real challenge would be once he was released into the community.
Judge Todd noted Garipoli had a supportive partner who had given birth to their first child while the 29-year-old was on remand.
She said the support would be helpful for his rehabilitation, but Garipoli would need to personally work on addressing his addiction.
Judge Todd said while Garipoli's plea was not entered at the earliest opportunity, he would still get a discount on sentence.
But the judge said the offending still warranted a jail term with a non-parole period.
Garipoli was convicted and sentenced to three years and six months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and two months. His 256 days of pre-sentence detention were reckoned as already served.
If Garipoli did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for four years and 11 months with a non-parole period of three years and six months.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.