A 23-year-old woman who tried to rob an elderly couple with a knife after they let her stay the night at their Wendouree home has been jailed for three years.
Madison Miller was sentenced at the County Court in Ballarat on Thursday morning after she pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and recklessly causing injury.
Judge Frank Gucciardo said the victims, aged in their 60s, were in the sanctuary of their own home on May 11 when Miller inveigled herself in the home at 10pm.
"They reacted admirably and showed you generous concern. You responded to their kindness by abusing their altruistic instinct and attacked them in their own home. They're to be commended for their generosity," the judge said.
"That such good Samaritans be terrorised in their own home at night by a stranger is utterly repugnant and the community has the right to look to the court for protection and denounce such behaviour in strong terms.
"Such attacks in the home with the use of a very dangerous weapon in the hands of a drug-addled individual causes consternation and dismay as well as fear.
"(The victim) speaks of his anger and upset of the loss of feeling of safety and security he is entitled to have in his own home, especially at night."
After knocking on the door, Miller gave them a false name and story about fleeing her partner. The couple offered her a bed for the night because they felt bad for her.
After being shown to a spare room, the husband went to his room and his wife stayed downstairs to watch television.
Later in the night, Miller went into the couple’s bedroom and told the man she needed a cuddle before saying she would do “anything dirty” he wanted in exchange for his car keys and mobile phone.
The man said ‘’no’’ before Miller said, “sorry I have to do this”, and produced a bread knife.
She threatened the man with the knife and demanded the car keys. He tried to cover the knife with the doona to blunt it.
Miller then ran downstairs and the man, fearing for the safety of his partially deaf wife, chased Miller into the kitchen and tried again to take the knife.
She kicked and bit the victim before hitting him with a saucepan. He held her on the floor until police arrived.
Judge Gucciardo set a non-parole period of 22 months and declared 277 days already served.
If Miller had not pleaded guilty, he said he would have sentenced her to four years behind bars.
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