A MAN who attacked an acquaintance with a box cutter, slashing him across the arm and face, was “an institutionalised man” who had no chance in life, a judge said yesterday.
Judge Michael Bourke said Shayne Joseph Veletta’s life legitimately incited feelings of sympathy after Veletta pleaded guilty in the County Court at Wodonga to aggravated burglary and recklessly causing serious injury
The court was told Veletta, 45, went to the home of the 23-year-old victim in Ware Avenue in the early hours of January 16.
The victim had been at Veletta’s Gayview Drive home the day before when Veletta had taken medication and fallen asleep.
When he woke, Veletta found $100 missing from his wallet.
At 4am the next day, he broke into the victim’s unit and attacked him with a box cutter, slashing his arm and face and then punching him.
The court heard Veletta gave the victim a blanket to clean his wounds and left, leaving the box cutter behind.
He made a full confession when arrested on January 17.
The court heard yesterday of Veletta’s extensive criminal history dating back to childhood.
Barrister Olivia Trumble told judge Bourke Veletta had entered the adult prison system at the age of 17 but had been in detention most of his life.
His father had been an abusive and violent alcoholic who used implements, including ironing cords, to beat his children.
Veletta would purposefully act up at a young age so that he would be sent to boys’ homes.
“The violence was so unpredictable and so bad when it happened that it was better for him to be in the homes,” she said.
“He has no real desire to integrate into the community because he doesn’t know how to.
“He just wants to survive in his own world.”
Judge Bourke remarked on Veletta’s life, saying if ever the term institutionalised were to apply, it did in Veletta’s case.
“Your client has had little or no chance at a productive or happy life,” he said.
“People don’t realise how dysfunctional their lives are, how cruel their lives are.
“They were not children who were up at 7.30 in the morning eating their Cornflakes while their father read The Age.”
Judge Bourke remanded Veletta in custody to reappear for sentencing on Thursday.