A HORSHAM man who hit another man on the head with a hockey stick has been placed on a community corrections order.
Byron Kidd, 20, appeared at Horsham Magistrates' Court on April 18 where he pleaded guilty to four charges, including recklessly causing injury, affray and theft.
The charges related to an assault and a burglary which both occurred in Murtoa last year. The court heard that Kidd and three other people were involved in the incidents.
They were Murtoa resident Emily Hahn, then 19; Dimboola resident Jaiden Castleman, then 18; and a teenage girl who was not named. The victim was a Murtoa man, aged 25 at the time of the incident.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Haughton read the offence summaries.
"In the early hours of July 26, 2018, the victim heard a car revving loading outside his house. The car would drive up and down the street, stopping out the front of the house," Sergeant Haughton said.
"The victim recognised the car and called the police. He called again later when the car returned. At 12.30am, the victim went outside his house and saw people hiding in the shadows. Kidd and co-accused approached the victim and said they wanted to talk to him.
"The victim saw two females in a second vehicle. He also saw that the Kidd was holding a hockey stick.
"An altercation occurred on the street between Kidd and the victim, and the victim was hit on his head with the hockey stick. The co-accused Hahn drove at the victim, striking him at least once. Castleman then produced a knife and told the victim to 'f*** off'."
The court heard the victim was taken to Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham, and was treated for head and leg injuries.
Police executed a search warrant at a Murtoa property on July 26 where the hockey stick and knife were located. The alleged perpetrators were taken to Horsham Police Station and interviewed.
Police also found a number of suspected stolen items at the property during the search warrant.
A total of 83 items were photographed and alleged to have been stolen property. The total value of the items was unknown, but included a watch worth $195, a wine glass worth $95 and DVDs worth $1750. Police sought a total of $2045 restitution for items that weren't recovered.
Kidd's defence lawyer Nick Graham represented the all alleged perpetrators in the case.
Mr Graham argued that his clients thought the house where the items were taken from was unoccupied at the time of the incident.
"My client said it was a group decision and saw the opportunity to take items," he said.
In relation to the assault, Mr Graham said it was "within the context" that Emily Hahn had been assaulted earlier in the evening.
"They wanted to find out who the culprit was and thought it was the victim in this matter. The hockey stick was brought in case things got out of hand. I'm not suggesting my client acted in self defence," Mr Graham said.
Magistrate Ronald Saines had harsh words for Kidd.
"In my judgement, this is a serious case of recklessly causing injury and affray. A hockey stick can cause major damage and on this occasion it caused head injuries," he said.
"It is absolutely stupid to take any kind of weapon to a confrontation. It could be taken off you and used against you. You need to think about how stupid that was.
"It was also the middle of the night and the victim had four people turn up to his house to intimidate him. He was then threatened and seriously injured.
"It is a serious example of affray and we frequently impose imprisonment for such cases. If you don't believe that one punch or hit to the head can cause death, just take a look at the news.
"As for the theft, it could have been a spur of the moment thing but it was still an invasion of privacy.
"If you take the view that this behaviour is in any way acceptable or that you are led to more conduct like it, you will be sentenced in the future as someone who has not learned."
Kidd received a community corrections order. He will have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work within 15 months. He will also be made to pay restitution worth $600.
The court heard that Hahn appeared at court in July. She pleaded guilty to several charges, including reckless conduct causing serious injury and numerous traffic offences. Hahn received a community corrections order.
Castleman will appear at Horsham Magistrates' Court on May 6 for sentencing.
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