No jail for home invader

A MAN involved in a violent home invasion in Gladstone was sentenced in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Adam Jacob Anthony Johnstone pleaded guilty to one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, one charge of enter dwelling with intent and three counts of wilful damage.

Police Prosecutor Brad Reynolds told the court Johnstone was one of four men involved in a violent home invasion at 11.30pm on March 19 at a residence in Pershouse Street. The victim suffered numerous injuries in the incident.

The front door was kicked in along with two bedroom doors and several holes were punched in walls.

On March 22 police attended an address in Anderson Street and arrested the defendant. Johnstone's car had been used in the home invasion and Johnstone was a front seat passenger in the car at the time of the incident.

The defendant told police he knew what they were doing was wrong but he didn't try to stop it.

Johnstone who did not actively participate in the assault stood by and observed the other men attack the victim and let them use his car.

Defence solicitor Stacey O'Gorman said her client was a 19-year-old apprentice butcher and had no criminal history.

“On the night of the offence my client was drinking and smoking cannabis when a woman said the victim of the home invasion had raped her so the men went to his house to sort him out in an act of bravado,” she said.

Ms O'Gorman said her client didn't think the other men would carry through with their plan and he was shocked at the level of violence they used.

Ms O'Gorman asked for a period of probation for her client as his part in the incident was minor compared to the other men charged.

Magistrate Damian Carroll said the defendant had demonstrated an ability to rehabilitate himself.

 “I need to send a message to the community that this type of behaviour won't be tolerated,” Mr Carroll said.

“You didn't actively participate in the assault but you didn't try to stop it either. It shows under the effects of drug and alcohol abuse that you were pressured by a number of other people and sucked in by a rape story.”

“You were dragged into a serious event of crimes. Assault in company is a very serious offence and is viewed with great seriousness by the court. You could be jailed due to the violence of this offence.”

Johnstone was ordered to do 90 hours community service within six months and placed on 15 months probation with orders to undergo drug and alcohol counselling.

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