A Warrnambool man who tried to convince the victim of a violent aggravated burglary to drop the charges, stating he was "dogging the boys", has abandoned an appeal against his sentence.
Damian Keane, 29, faced Warrnambool County Court on Monday, March 27, where he appealed against the severity of a nine-month prison sentence.
The man was jailed in the city's magistrates court earlier this year after he pleaded guilty to charges of intimidating a witness and breaching court orders.
The breaches took place in July 2021.
Then on May 28 last year, Keane drove Ashley Walker, 30, to a residential property in Warrnambool where an aggravated burglary took place.
The court heard Walker forced his way into the home and assaulted a male victim, who suffered a stab wound.
The victim fled the property and attempted to flag down a Nissan Patrol for help but soon realised it was Keane behind the wheel.
He then jumped fences and hid in a yard for about 10 minutes.
Then on August 30, Keane rang the victim and asked him to drop the stabbing charge.
"You're dogging the boys," he said.
"Just drop that charge, we'll leave you alone."
Keane was arrested by appointment at Warrnambool police station the following day and subsequently charged with intimidating a witness.
He was not charged in relation to the aggravated burglary and stabbing.
Walker has since pleaded guilty to the offences and will face a plea hearing in May.
The court heard Keane faced two separate plea hearings a month apart.
One involved the breaches of court orders and resulted in three months' jail.
The other related to the intimidation of the witness which saw Keane jailed for six months.
Victoria Legal Aid senior lawyer Natasha Jayasuriya said the fact Keane did not face one plea hearing for all of the offences meant he lost the benefit of concurrency - where sentences are served at the same time.
She said Keane's early guilty plea and admissions to police were indicative of his remorse, and that he had made strides in his rehabilitation while in custody.
Ms Jayasuriya said Keane had spent more than 200 days on remand, which included periods of isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Judge Amanda Chambers said the sentences were lenient and Keane risked being sentenced to more time in custody if he proceeded with the appeal.
She said the intimidation of a witness was characterised as "striking at the heart of the administration of justice".
She said the charge carried a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail and Keane received less than 10 per cent of that.
Judge Chambers said the breaches of court orders also breached an 18-month community correction order which Keane was placed on after pleading guilty to making a threat to kill while armed with a sledgehammer.
She said as a result of that offending, the man must be sentenced as a serious violent offender.
The appeal was abandoned and Keane will return to custody to serve the remainder of his sentence.
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