A man who stole a woman's car and phone at knifepoint during a crime spree across the west of the region will spend at least four years in prison.
Peter Giordimaina, 35, pleaded guilty in the County Court to two counts of aggravated burglary, armed robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, attempted armed robbery, robbery, two counts of burglary and two counts of theft in relation to his July 2018 crimes.
About 5.30am on July 10 last year, Giordimaina drove up to a house at Concongella, near Stawell, and asked the female occupant for directions through her window.
At the rear of the property, she gave him a note with written directions and he offered her $50, which she declined.
But he then took a large kitchen knife from his pocket, pointed it at the woman and said, "I'm sorry. Give me your car keys".
He took the keys and the woman's phone so she could not call police, and drove away in her car.
About 6.55am, Giordimaina went to a home in Rathscar, near Maryborough, and threatened the male occupant with a hammer, waving it above his head and yelling, "Give me the f---ing keys to the car".
But the man said police were on the way, so Giordimaina left.
A short time after 7pm that day, the 69-year-old occupant of a Bealiba house found Giordimaina in his kitchen.
Giordimaina demanded the man's keys and an argument ensued, the man speaking increasingly louder to get his neighbours' attention.
The man told Giordimaina to get out, but Giordimaina pushed him out of the way, to the ground.
Giordimaina grabbed two sets of keys and tried to leave by the front door but police had arrived, as a neighbour had seen him.
He tried to flee through the back door, but was arrested.
DNA linked Giordimaina to two burglaries in Bealiba, during which he stole binoculars, an LPG bottle, canned food and an axe.
Giordimaina admitted to police he had a knife in the Concongella incident, but denied pulling it on the woman.
He denied threatening the second victim with a hammer.
Giordimaina also pleaded guilty to aggravated carjacking, theft, recklessly endangering serious injury, handling stolen goods, unlawful assault with a weapon, unlicensed driving and failing to stop after an accident, in relation to crimes in Nhill and Melbourne in June 2018,
These incidents saw him steal petrol, run into two cars while driving at fast speed, assault a driver who tried to help him refuel his car, threaten an off-duty police officer with a knife, and steal a vehicle.
A defence submission to the court said Giordimaina had travelled to Victoria from South Australia to visit family, but became paranoid about police, relapsed into drug use, and became homeless.
Deanna Caruso submitted her client stole vehicles to escape someone he believed was chasing him.
Giordimaina showed remorse for his offending, Ms Caruso proposed, and understood the link between his drug use and his crimes.
The court was told a neuropsychological report determined intellectual impairments in combination with drug and alcohol use contributed to his offending.
It was also submitted Giordimaina had good prospects of rehabilitation, as the offending was out of character, he had made efforts towards rehabilitation while in custody and he had good support, among other factors.
Judge Duncan Allen sentenced Giordimaina to seven years and 10 months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years.