South Perth MLA John McGrath has welcomed the Liberal Party’s commitment to introduce tough mandatory sentencing laws for home invasions and violent burglaries.
“Every West Australian is entitled to feel safe in his or her own home,” Mr McGrath said. “Unfortunately the home is no longer a sanctuary. We are seeing more and more serious physical and sexual assaults being perpetrated by intruders.
“People in my community are living in fear. They have had enough. They are entitled to see these offenders punished and punished appropriately.
“I commend the Premier for taking this tough stand.”
Mr McGrath said a Liberal Government would introduce legislation mandating a minimum jail term of 75% of the maximum available for an adult offender who commits serious physical or sexual assaults in the course of a home invasion.
- An offender who breaks into a house and violently rapes someone will face a minimum of 15 years jail
- An offender who breaks into a house and seriously physically assaults someone will face a minimum of 7 years, 6 months jail
- An offender who breaks into a house and indecently assaults someone will face a minimum of 3 years, 9 months jail.
A three year mandatory minimum period of detention will apply to juveniles aged 16 and above who commit serious offences of physical or sexual violence in the course of a home invasion.
Police Minister Lisa Harvey said the ‘three strikes’ burglary laws would also be toughened up to close an existing loophole.
“This means that for offenders over 16, three burglary offences will mean three strikes, not three trips to court for a large number of offences,” Mrs Harvey said.
“Across all levels of adult courts, just 52% of aggravated burglary offences dealt with result in a term of imprisonment, with an average term of 20 months.
“Offences will no longer get bundled up in ‘one strike’ – we believe this change more accurately reflects community expectations.”
Attorney General Michael Mischin also said offenders over the age of 16 convicted under the three strikes legislation will also face an increased mandatory minimum sentence – from one year to two years.
In addition, Mr Mischin said the Young Offenders Act will be amended so that referrals to juvenile justice teams and cautions may be counted as ‘strikes’, as will convictions recorded more than two years prior to the current offence.
“We believe these tougher penalties reflect the seriousness of home invasions and community expectations of punishment for such offences,” he said.