Young offender given second chance following attempted aggravated burglary

By Liz Mellino

A judge has given a young man a second chance following an attempted aggravated burglary in Cobram last year.

Triston James De Cicco, 20, from Cobram East, was sentenced to 178 days in jail at Shepparton's County Court on Thursday, however having already served this time in pre-sentence detention he was not required to serve additional time in prison.

During sentencing, Judge Mark Taft described De Cicco as having gone "off the rails" in the past nine months, saying it appeared he began mixing with the wrong crowd before starting to use methylamphetamine and having to quit his job.

The court heard at the time of his arrest De Cicco was unemployed and had no criminal history but was on bail for a large number of offences.

Prosecutor Kathryn Hamill told the court De Cicco attended the Cobram address of the victim, who he had known, just after 3 pm on July 28 last year.

De Cicco had the lower half of his face covered and was holding a metal bar.

The court heard CCTV footage from the victim's security system showed De Cicco banging on the back door of the property with the pole, attempting to force it open.

Ms Hamill said De Cicco appeared to be in an "angry and excited state", while the victim, who was inside the property at the time, was frightened of the accused.

The accused was arrested on the same day and taken to the Cobram Police Station for interview.

During his interview De Cicco admitted he went to the victim's home because he had "been harassing a girl 24-7" and he "wanted to go and reason with him", telling police he had the metal bar because he wanted to scare the victim and for his "own safety".

De Cicco's defence counsel Nicholas Rolfe said his client only had a "very short period" of ice addiction, telling the court the accused had been off drugs since being released on bail in May last year for prior offending.

“He looks far more healthy now then when I first met him in April last year . . . I have noticed a marked improvement in his behaviour,” he said.

Mr Rolfe called De Cicco's father to the stand who admitted his son got into a "few little habits" which "turned his life around".

He described his son as now being back to his normal self, saying he believed he had learnt a big lesson and had a full-time job as an apprentice mechanic lined up upon his release.

“I have talked to him about the offending — he realised he made a big mistake in life and he wants to start again,” De Cicco's father said.

Mr Rolfe acknowledged his client had spent the past six months remanded in adult prison, and said due to him being a young offender he would need assistance following his release to "keep him on the straight and narrow".

“If he can do that then he can mature into a useful member of the local community, otherwise he is going to get onto a merry-go-round and won't get off it,” he said.

When sentencing Judge Taft warned De Cicco to stay away from drugs, telling him if he continued to use ice he would find himself "in adult prison very speedily again".

“You will let your own family down and you will erode your own life if you continue to use ice,” he said.

De Cicco, who was charged with attempted aggravated burglary, contravening a conduct condition of bail and committing an indictable offence while on bail, was convicted and placed on a 12-month community corrections order.

During this time he will be subject to supervision, along with treatment and programs for drug use and dependency and to reduce his risk of re-offending.