Shepparton man jailed after he used a knife in carjacking

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Jailed: A Shepparton man has been sentenced in the County Court after pleading guilty to aggravated carjacking, thefts, possessing a controlled weapon and four counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail. Photo by AAP Photo

A man has been sentenced to jail after a carjacking on Ashendon St, Shepparton, where he brandished a knife at the victim.

Gregory Maurice Hutchinson, 41, was sentenced in the County Court on June 22 after he pleaded guilty to aggravated carjacking with an offensive weapon, three counts of theft, possessing a controlled weapon and four counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail.

The court heard the victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car on Ashendon St about 6.30pm on October 2, 2021, waiting while his wife was inside Farm Fresh Supermarket on Maude St.

Hutchinson approached the victim and asked for a cigarette.

When the victim said no Hutchinson tried to grab the car keys from the ignition but the victim hit his arm away.

Hutchinson then pulled out a large kitchen knife from his bag and raised it towards the victim, yelling at him to get out of the car.

When the victim ran out of the car, Hutchinson got in and drove off before stealing fuel from two different petrol stations that night and a third in Melbourne two days later.

On October 5, Hutchinson went to a police station in Melbourne and told them where the stolen car was in South Melbourne.

The court heard Hutchinson had a long-standing and entrenched history of substance abuse, beginning in his teens with alcohol and cannabis, escalating to methamphetamine and heroin in his 20s.

In sentencing, Judge Nola Karapanagiotidis found Hutchinson’s prospects of rehabilitation were “guarded”, given his extensive criminal history, and said he was at risk of becoming institutionalised.

She accepted there was little to no planning prior to the carjacking; with Hutchinson having difficulty accessing methadone on release from prison, he impulsively stole the vehicle to get to Melbourne and access services there.

Judge Karapanagiotidis said she was satisfied Hutchinson’s acquired brain injury and mental health conditions were causally linked to the offending.

Hutchinson was sentenced to three years and four months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and three months.

He has already served about eight months in prison.