Violent duo walk free after home invasion

TWO men broke into a Scarness home, assaulted the three occupants all for the sake of an iPad mini which they failed to steal, a Hervey Bay court heard.

Locke Barnes, 19, and Scott Cameron, 21, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court yesterday to breaking and entering while armed, attempted stealing and three counts of assault.

At the time of the break-in Barnes had been released on parole for just three days.

The court heard Cameron and Barnes had been drinking when they approached the Scarness home, armed with bricks, and demanded a sliding door be opened about 11.45pm on May 8.

The pair repeatedly demanded the occupants showed them where they kept their money.

One of the pair stomped on an occupant's head, before demanding the others give them money.

While in the house, Cameron punched another occupant until he fled to the laundry where he called police.

The third occupant was punched in the head about 15 times before Cameron let him go.

As he left, Cameron threatened to kill the men if he was arrested by police.

Police caught up with Cameron a little further down the street where he was breath tested and recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.176%.

The pair had attempted to take an iPad mini.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes said Cameron appeared to be the main instigator of the violence and Barnes was there more in a supporting role.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge, for Cameron, said his client did not react well to alcohol and was now unable to drink at all due to a heart condition.

Mr Rutledge said Cameron had worked in the wood shop while in prison and wanted to get a job upon being released from prison.

Defence barrister Neville Weston said Barnes was an accomplice in the robbery.

"He was merely there to provide support and encouragement," he said.

Mr Weston said Barnes had a harsh adolescence.

Barnes has spent just 20 days out of prison in the last 18 months.

Judge Helen Bowskill urged the pair not to let this incident define their lives.

"You go out and make a good life for yourself and try and put this behind you," she said.

Cameron was given a head sentence of two years prison with immediate parole.

Barnes was given a head sentence of two years prison suspended and two years probation. The pair had been in custody since May last year.


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