Hammer blows draw blood, break bones in nasty home invasion

A HAMMER attack left a dad bloodied with facial fractures after a group of men crashed through a door of his cabin to attack him..

The actions of the men were described as vigilante when four offenders went before Ipswich District Court to be sentenced.

Shane Glen Oscar Medcraft, 30, from Tivoli, and Benjamen John Pappin, 27, from Bundamba, pleaded guilty to assaults causing bodily harm when armed/in company at Willowbank on October 17, 2017; enter dwelling with intent by break; enter dwelling with intent by break/use, threaten violence when armed in company; stealing; unlawful use of a stolen vehicle to use in an offence; and unlawful entry of a vehicle. Pappin also pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing fuel.

Cassandra Hope Carroll, 41, from Ipswich, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle; and entering a dwelling with intent by break in company. Her daughter Courtney-Lee Louise Carroll, 20, pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling with intent by break in company; and three drug offences.

A third man, Joshua Lee McCann, 28, from Booval, appeared in the dock charged with five offences. His matters were adjourned to allow for medical reports.

Crown prosecutor Cameron Wilkins said the incident occurred at 7am when five people arrived at Willowbank in a stolen car that had false plates.

The three males broke into the cabin at a caravan park armed with a hammer.

The man inside used a make-shift flame thrower, a degreasing can, to try and stop their entry.

Medcraft threw a hammer which struck the victim in the head. He was then assaulted.

Mr Wilkins said the two females entered but went into a bedroom and comforted a distressed boy. The women did not take part in the violence.

The victim said he was again struck by the hammer but did not know by which man while the other two males punched him.

He twice lost consciousness.

The men asked for his car key with Medcraft telling the two males to put the injured man into his car.

They were unable to start the car.

When the caravan park manager told them police had been called the intruders stole some of the man's property and fled.

The injured man suffered multiple fractures to his skull, nose, eye sockets and cheek bone. He was left bleeding and bruised.

Defence barrister David Jones said Medcraft was born in Murwillumbah and grew up in Ipswich. After being expelled from school and kicked out of his despairing mother's home he lived on the streets.

At the time of the home invasion he was living at the Central Motel in Ipswich where his co-offenders were.

Mr Jones said such vigilante behaviour is to be denounced but Medcraft had been told (falsely) that a female had been "roughed up" by the man.

And while the victim told police they all had hammers, the child witness said that he saw only one that morning.

Defence barrister Scott Lynch said Pappin, "in what might be said to be extraordinary", began using drugs intravenously from the age of 11 after meeting up with an 18-year-old.

He had previously been jailed following a fatal road crash.

Since going into jail 13 months ago and being off the drugs Pappin has gained 30kg.

Defence barrister Damien Gates for Cassandra Carroll, said the mother of four admitted knowing the car used that day was stolen, but had not known what was going to happen at the caravan park.

Mr Gates said Cassandra went inside and comforted the child. The child later told police about "two nice ladies".

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said the incident began after an earlier argument at the Central Motel. McCann was seen yelling at the man who was later assaulted.

At 4am McCann's then girlfriend arrived at the motel, saying she'd been told to leave (the cabin of the man, a former partner).

At 7am the group arrived at the caravan park in a stolen car, the males breaking into a cabin through a back door.

Judge Horneman-Wren said although the man told police they all had hammers, the child saw only one.

The victim quickly made a make-shift flame thrower but Medcraft threw the hammer and charged at him.

The three males stole watches, jewellery and electrical equipment.

Judge Horneman-Wren said there was an aspect of vigilantism, to get square with someone in the belief that he'd done something.

Already in jail on other matters, Medcraft was sentenced to 4 ½ years jail. He can begin his application for parole from December 16, 2019.

Pappin was sentenced to five years jail and can begin his parole application on June 16, 2019.

Cassandra Carroll was sentenced to 15 months jail, suspended after 241 days served; and to a probation order of 9 months and 12 days.

She will serve 12 more days in custody before being released.

Her daughter Courtney Carroll, who had already spent 370 days in jail, was sentenced to 370 days jail and immediately released.