Two men charged with burgling a Brown Hill house armed with a meat cleaver, over a $50 debt, have spent enough time in custody on remand, defence lawyers have said.
Luke Ross, 30, Timothy Rodger, 29, and Georgia Lynch, 41, were charged over the incident which occurred in Bradbury Street in the early hours of July 2, 2018.
The County Court at Ballarat was told during a plea hearing on Tuesday Rodger and Lynch attended the Brown Hill house twice during the day to sort out a $50 debt owed to the victim.
The victim had lent Lynch the cash because she was a single mother and he wanted to help her, the court was told.
Crown prosecutor Bruce Nibbs said the pair, along with Ross who was driving, returned to the house at 12.30am after receiving a text message at 9pm from the victim saying, "Time's up... See you soon".
He said Ross stayed in his Ford ute while Rodger and Lynch allegedly used a meat cleaver to bang on the front door, smash three windows and enter the house.
The victim's housemate was home at the time and dialed triple-0 but hung up and phoned the victim, who arrived home at 2.30am to find his house damaged, including damage to windows and hallway by a sharp object.
Mr Nibbs said police were at the property when the victim informed Rodger and Lynch he was home. Police officers positioned themselves nearby and arrested the trio when they re-attended the house.
Ross spent more than 14 months on remand before he was bailed, while Rodger has been locked up for more than 19 months. Lynch, now bailed, was on remand for about one year on from the incident.
Defence lawyer Eleanor Miller, representing Rodger, and defence barrister Tom Danos, for Ross, said time spent on remand was an appropriate sentence.
"(Rodger) has served significant time," Ms Miller said.
She said Rodger did not intend for things to get out of control but became angry when the victim's housemate would not let him and Lynch into the house.
Ms Miller said Rodger's drug use was an issue at the time of the offending and his behaviour was out of character.
She said the painter and decorator's drug addiction was now under control, he had family support and employment, and he had pleaded guilty early.
Mr Danos said Ross was not the principal offender and an acquired brain injury had caused him to follow people.
He said Ross, also a painter and decorator, drove Rodger and Lynch to the house because he did not want anything to happen to his car, which he believed they would have taken.
"(The acquired brain injury) has had very significant consequences for him at no fault of his own," Mr Danos said.
"Imprisonment is not inappropriate but time served is an appropriate sentence."
Ross and Rodger pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with an offensive weapon, while Rodger also pleaded guilty to destroying property.
They will be sentenced in two weeks, while a plea hearing for Lynch is set down for Monday.
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