A Ross Creek man armed himself with a machete and broke into an occupied house in the early hours of the morning to steal a cannabis plant, a court has been told.
Beau Francis McPhan, 24, attended the Cummings Road house, in Maddingley, with three other men on August 27 after he had smoked the drug ice.
The men were wearing masks which covered their faces, and one of the men was armed with a firearm and another had a crowbar.
Describing it as a serious example of aggravated burglary involving weapons, Crown prosecutor Andrew Moore said on Thursday one of the men used a crowbar to prise open the door of a sun room, which was used to store tools.
He said once inside the room, McPhan used the machete to cut a cannabis plant growing in the room and also picked up a bucket of tools.
Mr Moore said about 2.35am, the victim approached the sunroom because he heard noises and one of the accused pulled a firearm at him and told him to open the door, which he refused.
One of the accused smashed two windows before leaving the scene, while McPhan dropped the tools as he ran from the property. The victims, aged 44 and 47, immediately phoned triple-0.
The police arrived as the men reached the end of the property's driveway but one officer saw a male get into a bright blue car, which was the same Holden Barina the men had arrived in.
Mr Moore said police pursued the car for a short time but this did not result in any arrests. At 3.35am the police dog unit arrived and McPhan was located in thick scrub.
He received a puncture wound to his arm after a police dog bit him and he was transported to hospital.
Mr Moore submitted a prison sentence with a non-parole period was an appropriate penalty.
This is a serious example of aggravated burglary in view of the weapons.Crown prosecutor Andrew Moore
Defence barrister Jessica Willard said her client had been smoking ice on the day of the incident and someone had said he was going to get some cannabis from a property.
"He was under the impression he was taking dope from a shed in the back of the property. He left the house when the occupants of the house were calling out," Ms Willard said.
She said McPhan had been co-operative with police by drawing a map of the victim's house for them, telling them he had a machete and making full and frank admissions.
Ms Willard said McPhan started using methamphetamine after he was made redundant from a job he held as a carpenter in Melbourne three years ago.
She said when using ice, McPhan was associating with the wrong peers and his relationship broke down. His grandfather died shortly before the offending in March.
Ms Willard said McPhan, who has no prior convictions, would benefit from a community correction order.
Judge Meryl Sexton agreed to order a CCO assessment but said she had not made up her mind on the sentence.
McPhan pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft at the County Court in Ballarat on Thursday. He will be sentenced on Tuesday.
The maximum penalty for aggravated burglary is 25 years' imprisonment, while theft is 10 years in prison.
McPhan, who has family support, has been in custody for almost six months.
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