A man who led a hammer attack on a former housemate has avoided more jail time.
Trevor Rosendale faced the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to charges of affray, threats to kill, property damage to units and a car, and breaching several court orders.
The court was told Rosendale used to live with one of the victims in Maryborough, but the relationship deteriorated, with unsubstantiated accusations of sexual assault on a minor.
In August 2020, Rosendale's partner received text messages from one of the victims, and the following day Rosendale and a co-accused went to the victims' Mount Pleasant units, carrying a claw hammer and a baseball bat respectively.
Rosendale called out to the unit complex "come on, let's fight, I'm going to kill you", before he and a co-accused began smashing windows and panels on one of the victims' cars.
The victims - a father and son - attempted to confront Rosendale and a co-accused, one grabbing kitchen knives and swinging at Rosendale while he swung the hammer at the victim.
Several windows on the victims' units were smashed, with damage to walls and doors, and it was noted one victim had a swollen arm.
Rosendale kicked the victim's dog at one stage.
After a stubbie was thrown at Rosendale and his co-accused, the two attempted to flee, but were seen by police.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV, and the victims immediately identified Rosendale and his co-accused.
Several other residents made complaints to the service provider managing the unit complex following the incident, including a volunteer who was worried about further retribution.
Rosendale was arrested, with police finding the hammer, bat, and matching clothing in his house, and he made full admissions.
He served 37 days pre-sentence detention.
His defence lawyer, David Tamanika, noted as well as this, Rosendale had completed the Court Integrated Services Program while on bail, had not reoffended, and maintained a stable address and relationships.
He had also engaged with support services and treatment programs.
"He's not on some spiralling cascade downwards, it appears he's done something incredibly ill-informed," he said, adding the charges had "hung over" Rosendale's head for several months, adding a punitive aspect.
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Magistrate Letizia Torres told Rosendale she would not be sentencing him to further jail time, and Rosendale tearfully thanked her.
"You are never ever to take the law into your own hands, this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and you will go back to jail if you go back to court again," she said.
The case was adjourned to June 16 to complete a community corrections order assessment, with Ms Torres telling Rosendale to continue his treatment and rehabilitation programs.
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