Teen jailed over home invasion

By Alesha Capone

A teenage boy who pleaded guilty to taking part in an aggravated home invasion in Wyndham has been sentenced to three and a half years in a youth detention centre.

The 17-year-old boy, who was described with the pseudonym M.M, was sentenced in the County Court last month.

The court heard M.M participated in the aggravated home invasion in November 2018 at a house in Peppermint Grove, Wyndham Vale, along with five other young men.

Judge Liz Gaynor said M.M and the four other youths took a sledgehammer and smashed in the back door of the house.

When the female resident went to investigate, M.M demanded her car keys, while he was holding the sledgehammer.

The court heard that he said to the woman: “Go inside the room so I don’t kill you”.

After obtaining the keys to the woman’s Toyota Corolla, the youths drove away in the car, Judge Gaynor said.

The offenders were later seen at a party held at an Airbnb property in Point Cook.

M.M admitted the offending to police after he was arrested in November 2018.

The court heard the woman who lived in the Wyndham Vale house was “terribly frightened” by the home invasion and had given up her job working with the elderly.

Her victim impact statement read: “I have had to go to extensive counselling and I have to take medication because I’m plagued with recurring nightmares.

“When I’m outdoors I’m in fear and I’m really suffering from trauma and anxiety”.

Judge Gaynor said a report found M.M’s offending appeared to have occurred in the context of his low cognitive functioning, unstable homelife, exposure to domestic violence and family trauma.

She said that a neuropsychologist had found M.M. had “low to average intelligence” and to have a severe language disorder.

He also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a substance abuse disorder. The court heard that M.M started using cannabis at age 12, and also used benzodiazepine and cocaine.

Judge Gaynor said M.M would eventually be released on parole, but did not specify when.