Ballarat men face burglary and assault charges

TWO young Ballarat men accused of breaking into a Black Hill house last Friday night and burgling it, before glassing one of its occupants, were refused bail yesterday. 

Jake Wakelin, 20, and Dylan Graham, 19, appeared together in the Ballarat Magistrates Court docks where they faced charges including aggravated burglary and assault. 

Wakelin was granted trial bail last December over an alleged armed robbery, while Graham still has three weeks’ parole to serve after a lengthy stint in youth detention, the court heard. 

Opposing the pair’s bail, Ballarat Criminal Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Chris Hardiman said the pair were charged yesterday following the alleged incident last Friday.

Detective Senior Constable Hardiman said a group of up to five men, including Wakelin and Graham, broke into the home in Sim Street, Black Hill, about 11pm and allegedly stole money and handbags while assaulting several victims. 

The court heard three other men involved in the alleged incident are still wanted by police. 

Detective Senior Constable Hardiman said two victims were rushed to hospital after an alleged assault in which one man was glassed and another knocked unconscious. 

He said Wakelin and Graham allegedly demanded $500 cash from the residents before allegedly smashing windows and stealing two female handbags. 

The court heard Wakelin also allegedly bragged about the assault in a Facebook post the next day.

Detective Senior Constable Hardiman said both men were an unacceptable risk to the community, had violent dispositions and associated with known criminals. 

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson refused the pair’s bail application and said the case against them was strong. 

“The offences are very serious,” Ms Hodgson said. 

“Neither young men have shown cause.”

They were both remanded to re-appear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on May 8 for a committal mention hearing.