Two year jail term for home invasion

By Michael Roberts | posted on September 11, 2020

THE former head of an Albany real estate agency has been sent to jail for a home invasion and domestic violence incident in April.

Steven Angelo Lionetti was sentenced to two years behind bars for aggravated burglary and two counts of criminal damage in the District Court on Monday.

Mr Lionetti, who ran a short-lived real estate business named after himself, pleaded guilty to the three offences in Albany’s Magistrates Court in June.

State Prosecutor David Davidson told the District Court Mr Lionetti kicked open the locked front door of his ex-partner’s Mt Melville home on April 13 and followed her into the backyard as she sought refuge.

While the victim was trying to phone triple zero, Mr Lionetti grabbed her phone and smashed it against a post.

The 39-year-old also broke a TV while he was in his ex-partner’s home.

Before driving off, Mr Lionetti told the victim taking out a restraining order “wouldn’t make a difference”.

Mr Davidson said Mr Lionetti caused more than $4,000 damage to a door, TV and mobile phone.

The offences were committed 13 hours after the victim had taken out a three-day police order against Mr Lionetti for a separate incident.

At the time, Mr Lionetti and the victim shared custody of their two children. Their 12-year-old son was present on April 13 when Mr Lionetti forced his way into the Mt Melville residence.

In a pre-sentence report, Mr Lionetti said he felt aggrieved about how the victim was disciplining their son and visited the property to show “who the boss was”.

Defence Counsel Bruno Illari argued it was not your usual home burglary in that nothing was stolen.

Judge Stephen Lemnos agreed, but said that made matters worse because Mr Lionetti had invaded the home to cause fear and intimidate the victim.

Mr Illari described it as a domestic incident that had “clearly gone off the rails” and requested a suspended sentence.

But Mr Davidson sought an immediate term of imprisonment, arguing it was much more than just a family matter.

“It was a home invasion,” he said.

“Threats were made to her.”

Home invasions are considered more serious when the offender ought to have known residents were present.

Judge Lemnos said Mr Lionetti had shown limited remorse for his actions, did not have the benefit of a clean record and had “mocked the restraining order system”.

“It is more serious than an offence to steal,” he said.

“It is a form of domestic violence.”

Mr Lionetti will be eligible for parole after serving one year in jail.