Home invaded after crash anger, court told

PARTNERS and relatives of three men accused of a home invasion in Mildura last November have told a committal hearing the incident was sparked by anger over a car crash.

A man was left with red marks over his body and a lump on his head after he was allegedly beaten in the kitchen and bedroom of his partner’s home.

James Andrew Hammond and Andrew Alexander McMahon faced the hearing on Thursday, while the court was told the third co-accused, David Pearce, had pleaded guilty to the home invasion. 

The victim’s partner gave evidence that before the assault the victim took a phone call in which McMahon and another woman, Pearce’s partner, said they were ­upset about a past car crash they had just found out about.

The victim allegedly let the teenager drive the car and as a ­result of the crash, the court was told, the teenager was seriously injured.

The victim’s partner said before McMahon hung up, he told the victim, “You’re a dead man”, however said she was not worried about the call, as it seemed McMahon had been drinking.

Following the phone call, the victim’s partner and the victim were watching TV in bed when he heard a noise outside and peered out the window to see Hammond knocking on the door.

The victim’s partner said she opened the door an inch or two before Hammond pushed past her and straight for the victim, as ­McMahon and Pearce approached the house and stopped her intervening.

“You could tell there was an ­assault going on … (the victim) was crying out in pain,” she said.

The victim told the court his partner had called 000 and when they learned police were on their way, McMahon and Hammond stopped assaulting him and fled.

The victim said during the ­assault he was hit a couple of times in the head and back and he went to the doctor the following day to arrange X-rays and get painkillers.

Pearce’s partner told the court she, Pearce, Hammond and his partner had been drinking together that afternoon when a few of them went for a drive and the crash story came out.

When they arrived home, all were angry the victim and the victim’s partner had lied about the crash, but Pearce’s partner believed after a while they had calmed down. However, when McMahon arriv­ed, all three men drove to the house where the victim was.

In evidence, ­McMahon’s ­sister said when the trio came back, Hammond immediately hugged her and apologised for what they had done, telling her that her brother had nothing to do with it.

She said Pearce then told her mother: “I f****d him up real bad.”

Police informant Detective Acting Sergeant Adam Jepson said when he saw the victim on the night in question there were a number of red marks on his chest, back and torso and a lump on his head, however no serious injuries were reported or detected.

The committal was adjourned to today.

Bail for Hammond and ­McMahon was extended.

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