Man held hostage inside his home 'begged to live'
AS A man was held hostage inside his own home by a stranger, he begged to live for the sake of his children.
Michael William Hartley held his arms around the terrified man's neck while his partner-in-crime robbed the house.
The heavily-tattooed criminal telling his victim "it'll be over soon if you do as you are told," a court heard.
The 41-year-old grandfather had teamed up with a friend, former hotel owner Timothy James Braeckmans, after being released from jail to execute the robbery and make some money.
While Hartley did not know the victim, Braeckmans had stayed at the man's apartment days prior and knew the layout well, including where the man kept two safes.
The pair took off from the Maryborough home with about $2200, a coffee grinder, scales, a phone, a camera and jewellery.
Hartley was sentenced in Maryborough District Court yesterday to four years in jail for his role in the robbery.
He was also sentenced for another break-in committed just days later.
In the second major crime, Hartley's role was to block the front door of an occupied Maryborough house while Braeckmans threatened three people with a knife.
The court was told Hartley, who Judge Brian Devereaux described as having an "unusually bad and long" criminal history, had spent all but seven months of the past 10-and-a-half years behind bars.
Hartley's defence barrister told the court his client was "genuinely trying to change."
Judge Deveraux deemed Hartley to have something to live for, referring to his two children and grandchild.
Hartley will be eligible for parole on January 10, 2021.
Braeckmans was sentenced in December 2017 to four years and six months imprisonment.