Seriously ill woman targeted in “cowardly” crime
A MUM of three suffering a serious illness was subjected to the trauma of an ugly and cowardly home invasion robbery by three men - in what was said to be revenge on her brother.
Two robbers held knives when they forced their way into her family home just before 4am.
In an apparent rediscovery of faith, convicted criminal Gladstone Ama says he will return to his Mormon church when he gets out of jail.
The court heard drugs like ice were behind the crimes.
Gladstone Ama, 24, a dad of three from Ripley, pleaded guilty to more than two dozen offences - the more serious charges being armed robbery in company at Booval on February 16; entering dwelling to steal on February 16; entering a dwelling with intent by break at night on April 11; assaulting a police officer at Goodna on March 17; five charges of stealing petrol; and two counts of unlawful use of stolen cars.
The agreed facts of his assault on police were not revealed in open court.
In evidence put by the Crown legal officer Chantelle Phillips, Ama told police when arrested "it was not a burglary but an act of revenge against her brother".
A magistrate gave Ama bail on previous charges but he quickly reoffended and failed to report to police 10 times between February and June last year before being located and rearrested on June 10.
He had been held in jail for the past eight months.
Ms Phillips said there was no victim impact report because the woman had since died.
In the robbery on April 11, Ama, and his co-accused stole an Apple iPhone, a television and the victim's car.
The Crown sought a jail term of between five and six years with parole after he serve one-third.
Ms Phillips said the unwell woman had been a vulnerable target at home with her children in what was a "cowardly" crime with the intruders forcing entry.
One male (not Ama) had pointed a knife towards the woman's neck.
"He was not remorseful (when interviewed by police). Describes it as being an act of revenge," she said.
"He was later found in her car."
Defence barrister Scott Neaves said his lack of remorse and persistent offending at the time was consistent with Ama having a drug addiction.
Mr Neaves said one of the reference letters before the court was quite unusual in that it was written by a fellow jail inmate, and tells how Ama has been making the best efforts in jail.
"His parents are supportive and aware he has been behaving appalling," Mr Neaves said.
"A great motivator (for his rehabilitation) is that he has seriously let down his partner and his children.
"Unfortunately he fell in with a cousin who was using illicit drugs.
"He began using more and more to the point he became addicted and his focus was on using drugs.
"He expresses he feels ashamed."
Mr Neaves said offences like robbery and burglary often occur in circumstances of drug debts and drug use behaviour.
"His family are involved in the Mormon church. He was a regular until his drug use.
"His faith is something that will help him in the future," Mr Neaves said.
Judge Porter found Ama to have been in the grip of a drug addiction which controlled his actions.
Ama was sentenced four years and five months jail, combined with lesser jail terms on other charges.
His 208 days already spent in jail was taken into account and Ama will be eligible to apply for parole from May 10.
To get more detail on the agreed facts The Queensland Times paid money (called a fee) to the court to essentially buy the agreed facts of record to assist in accuracy.
Unlike other states where professional media/court reporters access such facts without paying monies to fact check.