Two men have pleaded guilty to a home invasion in Ballarat where they ransacked and extensively damaged the victim's home.
Marc Osborne, 38 and Connor Lindsey, 23, appeared at the County Court for a plea hearing on Monday morning.
The court heard both men entered as trespassers to a Sebastopol address with the intent to damage property on December 12, 2020.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Buckland told the court Lindsey had a physical altercation with the victim at the Sebastopol bowling club that night, where he was punched numerous times before the two were separated.
The victim returned home for a short time before leaving the address about 6pm.
About 7.40pm, Lindsey and Osborne attended the address armed with a crowbar, a machete and a knife.
They forced upon the front door and entered the home, using the weapons to damage the walls, cupboards and a shower screen.
They ransacked the house, including upturning a fridge, bed and pulling a tv off the wall and stomping on it.
Neighbours heard the commotion as the house was being damaged and saw the offenders in the property.
They saw one holding a machete and the other holding something they could not identify, so called both police and the victim to tell him someone was in his house.
One police unit attended the house while another patrolled the area in search of the offenders using the description which had been given.
The offenders were found waiting for a taxi about 500 metres from the victim's address, with a crowbar found behind a fence.
The owner of the house told police it wasn't his.
Both of the offenders were arrested, with a pocket knife found in Osborne's pocket and a machete found in Lindsey's shorts.
The court heard both offenders made "no comment" interviews with police.
The victim was so frightened that he stayed with friends for two days. When he returned home he found that "all [his] belongings" were broken and that there was "considerable damage" to the house.
Both men pleaded guilty to the offending and the prosecutor submitted terms of imprisonment were warranted.
Both men also admitted their criminal records.
Lindsey's defence counsel said the reason his client went to the victim's house was because he was looking for his lost phone and encountered Osborne along the way.
He said Lindsay was "very affected by alcohol and Xanax" and while it wasn't an excuse, it created context around what caused him to "lose his temper".
He said his client was remorseful for what he had done.
Osborne's defence counsel said he had a challenging upbringing, diagnosed mental health conditions, had frequently lived on the streets and had no support in the community.
He conceded he had a serious criminal history and had served numerous sentences in prison.
Judge Michael Tinney heard both of the men came from backgrounds of "significant disadvantage" and also contemplated the offenders' criminal histories, noting the offending that day was the most serious both had committed.
He said Lindsey had taken the law into his own hands instead of calling police about the assault.
"It is not the highest level of home invasion but an inherently serious offence," he said.
Both men will be sentenced later this week.
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