A MAN given some money to carry him over by Catholic sisters in Albury has received a two-year jail term for later returning to rob them.
Matthew Craig Thompson expressed his remorse for the offence when he appeared for sentencing in the District Court at Albury.
Director of Public Prosecutions representative Rennae Gee said it was an aggravating feature that a nun, 73, who was robbed was a vulnerable victim.
Judge Stephen Walmsley said to Thompson: “You understand it must have been a terrible shock for the lady who lived there”.
“Yes, I understand,” he replied.
Thompson, 37, appeared for sentencing on a charge of aggravated break and enter committing a serious indictable offence.
He was staying at the nearby men’s shelter and went to the Convent of Mercy in early March asking for assistance.
The sisters gave him $10 to tide him over, but a week later Thompson had an $80 debt to pay and decided to break into the unit where the sisters lived.
He went to the church units in Olive Street about 9pm on March 14 and tried to get entry to unit one, but a screen door was locked.
He used a cigarette lighter to burn a small hole in the flyscreen, big enough to get his hand in, and tried the door knob, but it was locked.
Thompson used a 40-centimetre by 20-centimetre concrete block to smash a bedroom window and then climbed through.
But an elderly sister was in an adjoining bedroom and heard the crashing sound.
She ran down a hallway to another unit and locked a door, dividing them, before calling police.
Thompson opened a draw in a bedroom and found a container with silver coins inside.
He filled his pockets and walked through the unit looking for money.
Police arrived and saw a blood smear on the blinds, they heard a noise outside and chased Thompson about 500 metres to the Hume Street intersection.
He admitted looking for money and police recovered $33.50 from him.
Judge Walmsley said Thompson, a disability pensioner since 1997, has a lengthy criminal history.
He has had substance abuse problems since 16 and stole the money to repay a debt, but claimed it was not for drugs.
Thompson was convicted and sentenced to a minimum term of 12 months’ jail.