Verdict on woman's part in alleged home invasion handed down
A WOMAN has been found not guilty of involvement in a violent home invasion on the basis of mental illness.
The 45-year-old, who's living in Drake, faced Lismore District Court on Monday for a judge-only trial into her allegations of aggravated detaining a person and stealing property from a dwelling.
Within hours, Judge Julia Baly found the woman not guilty of both charges on the basis that she was mentally ill.
The woman was accused alongside 40-year-old Tabulam man Sam Mitchell of entering a Banora Point home, detaining and assaulting the resident and stealing a host of valuables on December 3, 2017.
The Crown prosecutor told the court the alleged victim woke to the sound of loud banging on the front door about midnight.
She said the occupant was allegedly held at knifepoint and tied up on the kitchen floor as the pair ransacked the home for several hours.
"The co-accused kept asking the complainant about cash and kicked (him) in the back of the head when he said there was none,” she said.
"The house was extensively ransacked.”
After Mr Mitchell allegedly stole a car from the home, the resident fled through the back door to a neighbour's home and they phoned Triple 0.
The court heard the woman was rifling through drawers in a bedroom when police arrived while her car, parked outside, contained housebreaking implements, a knife and baseball bat while her DNA was on a knife inside the house.
In a recorded interview with police which was played to the court, the accused agreed she went to the home with Mr Mitchell, but said they were invited in and shared bourbon and lemonade, while she smoked cannabis with the alleged victim.
The court heard forensic psychologists who were expert witnesses for both the prosecution and defence agreed the woman was mentally ill.
Judge Baly said she would give further reasons as to her decision on Friday.
Mr Mitchell, who is in custody facing charges of aggravated break-and-enter, taking or detaining a person in company and stealing a motor vehicle, is due back before Tweed Heads Local Court tomorrow.