Family threatened before alleged bikie bashing: court

A BALLARAT North man was left dying in his backyard after he was brutally bashed, a court was told yesterday. Robert Wayne Jeffrey, 50, of Brown Hill, is accused of the attack earlier this year. He could be forced to stand trial after he appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday for a committal hearing expected to last three days.Jeffrey faces 14 charges including aggravated burglary, intentionally causing serious injury and six assault related charges.Leanne Lawson, who has been the partner of alleged victim Robert Linane “on and off” for 12 years, gave evidence via video link and accused a man she called “Bob Jeffrey” of belting Mr Linane’s head in on March 6 this year.She claimed Bob Jeffrey’s daughter Tiffany — Ms Lawson’s son’s partner at the time — had bragged about her father being the president of the Vikings Motor Cycle Club and hanging out with the Hell’s Angels.She also alleged that a group of 10 or more people had turned up at her and Mr Linane’s home the night before the alleged offences took place, smashing about five large windows and threatening to kill them.Ms Lawson claimed she heard screaming and yelling and people asking for a mobile phone said to belong to Tiffany to be given back.She said Bob Jeffrey was part of a front group of three or four people who were closest to the house.Ms Lawson alleged that on the following afternoon, she and Mr Linane were at home having just decided to leave town when Bob Jeffrey entered the house.“He announced himself to me when he walked in the door before he belted Rob’s head in,” she said.“Five more minutes and we would have been gone.”According to Ms Lawson’s statement to police read aloud by the defence, at least three men with iron bars came into the house and assaulted Mr Linane, though while giving evidence Ms Lawson couldn’t remember a number of details.“I was very very traumatised that day because Robert (Linane) was dying in the backyard,” she said.Jeffrey’s barrister Michael Pena-Rees accused Ms Lawson of stabbing her son twice in the leg with a screwdriver the night before the alleged bashing, which she adamantly denied.She did however speak of a difficult relationship with her son, who she claimed had assaulted her on numerous occasions over the years.Ms Lawson was the only witness to give evidence during the hearing yesterday.The hearing before magistrate Michelle Hodgson continues this morning.

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