Three sentenced to jail for 'vicious' home invasion

A GANG of armed robbers who terrorised a Ballarat family, holding them hostage in their Webster Street home while ransacking it in search of cash, have been collectively jailed for more than 28 years.

James and Dianne Frangos, their daughter and her husband were confronted by the gang who burst into their Webster Street, Lake Wendouree home about 10.30pm on December 4, 2010, while another daughter and three grandchildren aged under three slept upstairs.

Sentencing the offenders, Kerry Francine Murrell, 46, of Sebastopol, her brother Lloyd Anthony Murrell, 43, of Point Cook, and their nephew Anoir Kamal Murrell, 25, also of Point Cook, in the Melbourne County Court this afternoon, Judge Richard Maidment said the "vicious crime" had destroyed the Frangos' lives.

"You have shattered their sense of safety," Judge Maidment said.

"They will feel uncomfortable living in their homes for the rest of their lives.

"They were appalling crimes... motivated by greed and nothing else. You should be ashamed of what you did."

Lloyd Murrell, who was jailed for 14 years last December over an attempted armed robbery on JD's Sport's Bar, was today jailed for seven years and six months. He must now serve a total of 16 years jail.

Kerry Murrell was jailed for 5.5 years. Anoir Murrell was jailed for six years and six months.

A previous plea hearing was told the trio threatened to cut off Mr Frangos' fingers and "smash" his skull before locking the group in an upstairs room and ransacking the home.

"You led them to believe they may have been killed"

The group had planned the home invasion and burglary after being tipped off the Frangos family was one of the most "loaded" in Ballarat.

The plea hearing heard Lloyd and Kerry Murrell went to the home of a female' who once worked for Mr Frangos and whose mother was formerly in a relationship with Kerry Murrell, around December 2 or 3, 2010, asking "who's loaded in Daylesford?"

The female replied "everyone knows it's James and Dianne Frangos".

Tracking down the Frangos' address and storming their home on December 4, 2010, the robbers warned the family not to "try anything" before threatening to shoot them and demanding $150,000 in cash.

"You led them to believe they may have been killed," Judge Maidment said.

The court heard Dianne Frangos opened a safe for the robbers, but it contained no money. The group then locked the family in a room while they ransacked home, stealing jewellery and other items. Eventually using one of the robber's metal poles to break out of the room, James Frangos ran to a neighbour's home and called police.

Lloyd Murrell will be eligible for parole in 12 years. Kerry Murrell will be eligible for parole in three years and three months. Anoir Murrell will be eligible for parole in four years and two months.