A RECOVERING ice addict has broken down in a Sydney court, admitting he needs to stay locked up to stop him destroying other people’s lives.
Craig Douglas Thompson, 43, has pleaded guilty to six counts of break and enter that took place in Wollongong in 2012.
Retired engineer Dennis Thomas had just returned from a family holiday when he woke on November 13 to find Thompson in the unit he shared with his wife Fiona.
When the then 66-year-old tried to stop Thompson, the younger man repeatedly punched him in the jaw and threw his 64-year-old wife against a wall.
Mrs Thomas cried as she told the Downing Centre District Court on Friday how scared she felt during the attack.
‘‘I thought my husband was going to die,’’ she said, presenting a victim impact statement.
Thompson lowered his head as Mrs Thomas spoke, then cried as he told the court of his shame and apologised to his victims.
‘‘I feel bad because I have pretty much destroyed someone else’s life,’’ Thompson said.
‘‘I don’t have a bad bone in me body until I have taken drugs, and then I’m somebody I don’t like.’’
The court heard Thompson has been in and out of jail for most of his adult life, and has become institutionalised.
‘‘I don’t know how to stay on the right path outside,’’ he said.
The Thomases said they weren’t sure if they would ever recover from what happened.
‘‘I hope that when Thompson and his partner are in their 60s ... someone breaks into his home and assaults him and turns his life upside down,’’ Mrs Thomas said.
‘‘Only then will he know what sort of impact that this has had on us.’’
Mr Thomas said he is still plagued by pain caused by Thompson’s blows. Paranoia about being safe in their home has also changed his family relationships.
‘‘Even our grandson is affected as there’s reduced access to pop and nan,’’ he said.
Sentencing submissions continue.