Deaf man held up at St Leonards home invasion

A MAN who broke into the home of an elderly deaf St Leonards resident, in a targeted attack, has been jailed.

Jason Robert Burns was found guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated armed robbery earlier this month.

Burns, 23, was one of two men who targeted the 75-year-old on February 18 last year.

The victim has not returned to his home of 40 years since the attack and moved interstate.

On the night in question, Burns broke into the property while the man was in bed.

The man noticed a torch light and confronted the pair.

It was then they knocked the elderly man to the ground, before the other attacker threatened him with a serrated kitchen knife.

Because their victim was deaf, the two crooks used specific signals to demand cash.

They stole $205 cash from the man’s wallet and even asked their victim to let them out the front door with his key, before fleeing.

Unable to call for help, the victim sought assistance from a neighbour.

In sentencing at the Launceston Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Robert Pearce revealed Burns’ long history of violence and theft.

Among his list of prior convictions is a charge of aggravated armed robbery from March 2012, during which he and another man robbed two strangers in a Launceston street with a shotgun.

He was sentenced to 18 months jail for that in December 2013, but 13 months was suspended.

Burns quickly reoffended upon his release – this time for family violence matters.

“These are serious crimes,” Justice Pearce said.

Referring to the St Leonards incident, Justice Pearce said: “The defendant went in company to a home at a time when it would be very likely the occupant would be present. When confronted by a vulnerable and elderly male, he and his co-offender used force to subdue him.

“He was already feeling scared and insecure. He was subjected to a terrifying robbery in his own home. He was immediately distressed. He has not been able to return to the home in which he lived for forty years. It has now been sold and he is deprived of the enjoyment and independence he previously enjoyed by being able to live there.”

Burns was sentenced to three years’ jail.

He will not be eligable for parole until he has served half.

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