Resident held at gunpoint in terrifying home invasion
FOUR people have admitted to their roles in a violent and frightening home invasion of a Kingsthorpe resident late on New Year's Eve last year.
Cameron Robert Rhodes, 27, Dylan Joseph Sharpley, 21, Justin Marc Watts, 24, and Tammesen Kate Ralph, 22, had met up on that afternoon when Sharpley had spoken about doing an "earn" (slang for getting money for drugs), Toowoomba District Court heard.
Rhodes and Ralph had travelled from their then home at the Crows Nest caravan park and Rhodes had brought with him a .22 rifle owned by Sharpley.
Rhodes and Ralph travelled in one car while Sharpley and Watts were in another car with three other people who were not charged.
Crown prosecutor David Jones told the court Rhodes had heard the 58-year-old victim had a safe at his home and the convoy had then driven to Kingsthorpe about 10pm.
En route, Watts and Sharpley had talked about needing a "rosco" (slang for rifle) and a police radio scanner was activated in one of the vehicles, the court heard.
At Kingsthorpe, Ralph had waited at the car listening to the scanner while the other three, dressed in dark clothing and gloves and each wearing a balaclava to hide his face, entered the man's home.
While Watts and Sharpley searched the home, Rhodes had kept the rifle pointed at the terrified complainant, repeatedly threatening to shoot him and at one point pushing the gun's barrel close to his face.
The trio fled with the man's wallet containing $130 and bank cards, his car keys and mobile phone, preventing the victim from calling police. A neighbour called police for him the next morning.
Rhodes and Ralph returned to Crows Nest where they used the complainant's bankcard to withdraw $1000 from an ATM.
All four had previous criminal records and Watts was on parole at the time of the offence, the court heard.
The quartet appeared in custody to plead guilty to burglary, armed robbery in company and associated charges.
Judge Deborah Richards adjourned sentencing until this morning, saying she would spend time overnight going through a plethora of material on the case before handing down penalty.