Man denies charge

A MAN accused of herding children into a room while his co-accused brandished a gun in a violent home invasion will face a contested committal hearing.

Sekonaia Vave, of Robinvale, appeared at Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week facing charges including aggravated burglary and false imprisonment.

His co-accused, Peni Amato, who was allegedly armed with a sawn-off shot-gun during the home invasion, will face court in November when he is expected to enter a plea.

Police allege the men forced their way into a Fourteenth Street house and made demands for drugs and cash after knocking at the front door. Three children were in the house at the time.

Prosecutor Jennifer Taylor said while the prosecution did not allege Vave had the gun, he was “acting in concert” with Amato.

She said the children were herded down the end of the house into a room by the accused, the act in which the prosecution allege false imprisonment took place.

Defence counsel Peter Delorenzo said while Vave admitted the aggravated burglary, he denied any false imprisonment or that “herding” took place.

Deputy chief Magistrate Felicity Broughton allowed Mr Delorenzo’s application to cross examine a victim at a pre-trial hearing, with questions confined to the issue of false imprisonment. 

Vave will be back before the court on December 8.

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