TWO men face several years behind bars for robbing four people inside a home after admitting to going there “to get on” drugs.
Jonathan Alex Nean and Nicholas Allan Hampton have admitted to four counts of robbery in company in Quirindi in September 2016, and will have other related charges of stealing a car or being carried in a stolen car taken into account in sentencing.
The pair appeared via video link in Tamworth District Court from prison and Nean took the witness stand, admitting that he knew his victims in Centre Street, Quirindi.
The court heard “both of them are armed” and they were “robbing anyone that happens to be there” of cash, jewellery and mobile phones.
Nean said he “went there to get on”, and barristers said while it was not necessarily “sophisticated … there is some forethought” in the robbery.
The 34-year-old blamed his behaviour on an addiction to drugs but Judge Jeffery McLennan said his age “makes him old enough to know better”.
“I'm sorry for what I done, I'm sorry for the family,” Nean told the court.
I'm sorry for what I done, I'm sorry for the family ... I know I stuffed up and I'm remorseful for that.Jonathan Alex Nean
"I shouldn't have done what I did.
"I know I stuffed up and I'm remorseful for that".
He told the court he took ice, heroin, fentanyl patches, and despite completing a TAFE course in his teens and working in the mines, he hadn’t had employment since he was 18-19.
The court heard Nean was a talented footballer and played second division at age of 14 for the Penrith Panthers.
“Why did you stop playing football?” barrister Jason Curtis asked.
“Cause I got into drugs and alcohol, got myself into trouble,” Nean replied.
Cause I got into drugs and alcohol, got myself into trouble.Jonathan Alex Nean
Nean admitted he was on the methadone program but was kicked off when “I was on the run”.
Mr Curtis said his client needed assistance on release and “possibly feels somewhat at home” in prison, after a life in-and-out of jail.
The court heard Hampton would be given a 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea, after an earlier offer was rejected by the crown, before new charges were laid.
He will undergo a specialist medical assessment in March and will be sentenced in April.
The court heard Nean “absconded on bail” granted by the supreme court in August 2017, and was caught in September 2017, hiding in Quirindi.
On the stand, Nean said he was granted bail to go into residential rehab in Kempsey but was late and “they told me not to bother coming up”.
Instead of calling police or his solicitor, he went to a family member’s house.
He has already served more than 480 days in custody, the court heard.
The pair will be sentenced in April.