Ice user avoids jail after violent home invasion

A VIOLENT ice user who broke into a man's home, beating him with a weapon and stealing alcohol, has avoided jail at a Ballarat court this morning.

But he has been warned it would be his last chance.

In offending, which County Court Judge Michael McInerney called one of the most serious examples of criminality, Billy John Travis Dart, 20, of Bacchus Marsh, beat the victim with a baton before stealing cans of bourbon on July 6 last year.

Dart pleaded guilty to a string of charges, including aggravated burglary in the County Court at Ballarat yesterday and was this morning sentenced to a community correction order.

Judge McInerney said Dart was lucky to avoid immediate imprisonment, with the maximum term for aggravated burglary being 25 years.

But the judge said given Dart's young age, remorse and prospects of rehabilitation, he should be spared from prison or youth detention.

"It seems to me that he is the perfect candidate to be given a second chance," Judge McInerney said.

"This is your last chance."

Judge McInerney yesterday said the fact Dart had only reduced his ice use was "ridiculous" and today warned him the drug would destroy his life.

He said Dart had gone to the victim's home seeking retribution after the victim had earlier assaulted one of Dart's friends.

The court heard the victim now fears for his safety.

Dart was ordered to complete 200 hours of community work and attend counselling for drug and alcohol treatment.

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