Canberra man who broke COVID-19 isolation to threaten neighbor with ax sentenced to four years in prison

A Canberra man who chased his neighbor with an ax while in isolation with COVID-19 has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison in the ACT Supreme Court.

Jayke Fleury, 36, pleaded guilty to a series of charges of various incidents, including drug trafficking and assaulting a police officer.

The court heard how in September last year, while isolated with COVID-19, Fleury threw something through a window of his upstairs home, sending shards of glass into the courtyard below.

When his neighbor protested and asked who would clean up the mess, Fleury went to the man’s apartment and broke into the house, before swinging an ax at him several times.

The court heard that the man fended off the attack with a baseball bat before fleeing his home.

The police negotiated with Fleury all night until 3 a.m., in order to get him to surrender himself.

Offender promises to rehabilitate

Fleury had already faced serious drug charges after a police raid on another home found more than a kilogram of cannabis with a potential street value of between $5,000 and $20,000.

The catch included dried cannabis branches in his wardrobe and about 700 grams of cannabis in a vacuum-sealed bag, along with smaller bags containing the drug and more than $1,000 in cash.

During the sentencing, Judge Verity McWilliam noted that Fleury had claimed that he was growing cannabis for his own personal use, and that this would no longer be illegal due to recent changes in the law.

“The perpetrator claimed he preferred not to interact with fellow drug users or dealers, hence the desire to have his own stash of cannabis,” she said.

Fleury also wrote a letter to the court promising to change his ways.

“I no longer want to be negatively defined as a product of my environment, but rather my environment be defined as a product of me, and for the right reasons.”

He said he wasn’t “striving to be a millionaire or cure cancer,” but wanted to be the best father he could be to his young daughter, and the best partner to her mother.

The court heard that Fleury had long had emotional problems and had used drugs and alcohol to compensate.

Justice McWilliam said it was clear that alcohol had been a factor in some of the violations, but that both his brother and partner had seen him make an effort to deal with his addictions.

“He has developed a relapse prevention plan and a self-management plan, identifying his triggers, warning behaviors, coping strategies, supportive people, and options for support programs after his release.”

Fleury has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for all crimes.

But the court has ordered a parole of just 23 months to help him seek rehabilitation sooner rather than later.

Fleury is eligible for release next year.

Leave a Comment