A heavily drug-affected Australian man had to be sedated after he committed a “bizarre” string of offences that included him rushing around a random house while doing breaststroke motions before having his victims’ pizza, a court has heard.
Daniel Nicholas Sheather, 23, fronted the ACT Supreme Court last Thursday for a sentence hearing after he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, common assault and damage to property.
Court documents stated in December last year, Sheather went to a man’s house in Calwell where he used a large hunting knife to stab the hallway.
The other man, who knew the offender, tried to calm the offender, an apprentice carpenter, down by hugging him and reassuring him everything was OK.
But it failed. Sheather held the knife up near the man’s throat, causing him to fear for his life.
He then demanded the victim give up his wallet, phone, car keys and jewellery. The victim complied before screaming at the offender to get out.
“Our kids are still getting nightmares and are calling out during sleep and saying someone is trying to kill their dad,” said the victim.
Sheather then grabbed a frying pan and used it to smash the victim’s head before grabbing his throat.
After leaving the premises, he went to another house on the same street where two families, including four adults and five children, were inside.
One of the parents started to scream at Sheather, telling him to leave, triggering Sheather to run though the house while using a breaststroke motion.
While moving through the house, he picked up various items, including a knife, a bottle of Coke and a piece of pizza he took a bite from before throwing it on the ground.
He used the knife to threaten one of the adult victims before rummaging through one of the cars in the garage.
The occupants began screaming, prompting the victim from the first premises to rush to yell at Sheather, who was then on the street, to stop.
Sheather again demanded the man to hand over all his property before pulling a chain off his neck.
When police arrived, they chased him briefly. A nurse sedated him with Ketamine due to his aggressive and erratic behaviour.
The victim in the first premises later told police Sheather appeared to not remember who he was and appeared to be in a psychotic state.
In court, Crown prosecutor Marcus Dyason read out an impact statement by one of the parents in the second house.
“The incident affected our whole family physically, mentally and professionally,” the statement reads.
“Our kids are still getting nightmares and are calling out during sleep and saying someone is trying to kill their dad.
“They are scared of catching the bus and walking alone from home to school and back.
“It’s really affected their mental health.”
The court heard security cameras were installed at the house following the incident.
Chief Justice Helen Murrell said Sheather’s “bizarre behaviour would have been particularly frightening to the victims”.
“Of particular concern is the impact it had on children,” she said.
“The offending was impulsive and poorly planned as the offender was heavily affected by illicit substances at the time.”
Sheather, who had already served 74 days in custody, has been sent to be assessed for eligibility for a drug and alcohol treatment order as part of his sentence.
Chief Justice Murrell indicated she would sentence him to 37 months’ jail. The matter will be heard again after assessment.