A man facing deportation from Australia after serving jail time for an attempted home invasion and carjacking at Newport has lost an appeal against his armed robbery conviction.
Mazin Putrus, 28, was sentenced in the County Court to five years and two months in jail, with a minimum of three years and 10 months, for his part in the 2016 armed robbery and other offences.
He was convicted of one charge of armed robbery following a trial in the same court.
The Court of Appeal heard Putrus and two co-offenders drove in two vehicles to a house in Bradley Street, Newport, on April 13, 2016.
The three men approached the front door, with Putrus’ co-offenders displaying their firearms.
A few moments later, a car began to turn into the driveway.
Putrus went to the driver-side door and told the victim to “get out of the f****** car”.
One of his accomplices opened the passenger side door holding a firearm.
Putrus got in the car and drove it a short distance down the street before returning to the property. The three used the driver as leverage to try to gain entry to the house, eventually giving up and driving away.
The Court of Appeal heard the only issue with the charge of armed robbery was whether Putrus had used force, or sought to put the victim in fear that force was going to be used, immediately before or at the time of the car theft.
It was submitted on appeal that although Putrus unquestionably stole the car and threatened the victim at the front door of the property, those threats were to gain entry to the house and not to steal the car.
In dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal said the “conviction on the charge of armed robbery was inevitable on either scenario”.
Putrus and his family, from a persecuted Christian minority in Iraq, had fled to Syria when he was 14 and arrived in Australia on humanitarian visas in 2009.
At the time of his conviction, County Court Judge Susan Cohen said his visa had been cancelled and he was “most likely” to be deported upon release from prison.