Reid sentenced to five years

June 21, 2017

Police at the scene of Darren Reid's arrest at Tatura in April last year.

A man who went on a two-day crime rampage with a sawn-off shotgun across the Goulburn Valley has been sent to prison for more than five years.

Darren Reid, 26, who grew up in Shepparton, was arrested last year after he committed a string of armed robberies at Merrigum, Undera and Byrneside in April last year.

He was sentenced to prison in County Court last week, after already spending more than a year in detention following his arrest last year.

His crime spree started when he borrowed a car from a friend in March last year, before swapping it for another car.

He then borrowed another friend’s car before switching the number plates in an attempt to conceal his tracks.

With a sawn off-shotgun, he got a friend to drive him across the Goulburn Valley as he robbed the Undera General Store, the Shell service station at Byrneside and a cafe at Merrigum during two days in April.

During the rampage, he also broke into a sports club in Rushworth and fired a shot outside a house at Mooroopna.

The court heard that Reid filmed and narrated a video on his phone as he shot his gun outside the home.

In the film, which was shown at his plea hearing, Reid said ‘‘say hello to my little friend’’ and ‘‘see how tough he is when I put this through his f****** window’’as he shot a car window parked outside the home.

Judge Richard Smith said it was ‘‘puzzling’’ that Reid would record himself as he committed this crime.

‘‘I can only assume that you were proud of your actions and intended watching and listening to it again on future occasions or possibly show it to other persons,’’ Judge Smith said.

Reid initially entered a plea of not guilty last year, but later changed his plea to guilty.

The court heard that Reid, who has a lengthy criminal history, was on a community corrections order and had recently been released from prison at the time of the crime spree.

Judge Smith said Reid had not shown any real remorse for his crimes, and that the violent armed robberies had a devastating affect on his victims.

‘‘One has effectively been unable to work since soon after the robbery,’’ Judge Smith said.

In submissions representing the accused, the court heard Reid had extensive drug and alcohol problems and, at one point, went two weeks without sleep while high on methamphetamines, or ice.

He was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison and fined $1500.

Judge Smith said he sentenced Reid to a lengthy time of imprisonment to increase his chances of rehabilitation and kicking his addictions to drugs and alcohol.

He will be eligible for parole once he has served four years of his sentence.

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