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Elderly victims tell court about nightmare of home invasion

A BRAZEN home invasion by three long-time criminals has left a senior couple terrified of anyone who knocks on their front door.

Around 5pm on December 2, a 70-year-old man and 69-year-old woman were finishing their dinner in their Brassall home.

The man looked outside as Asten Shaun Bell, 28, William Kerry Monsell, 37, and Aaron Murphy, 30, approached the door.

Monsell told the man they were looking for the drug dealer who had sold his cousin bad drugs and caused him to overdose.

The man told Monsell no-one like that lived at the house and asked the three men to leave or he'd call the police. Monsell refused and told him he'd already called the police.

The three men then barged their way into the house.

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Murphy made his way to a bedroom where the owners continued to tell them to leave the property.

Murphy grabbed a number of watches from the bedroom and attacked the man. He hit and pushed him, leaving the man with lascerations to his arms, wrists and legs.

The man eventually got the men to leave and told them if they returned the watches, he wouldn't call the police. Monsell continued to talk to him about his hospitalised cousin and said they were wating for the police already.

They eventually left the backyard with the stolen items and split up. However, they were quickly located by police.

Bell was arrested wearing a watch stolen from another house engraved with the name of the woman who owned it.

Bell, Monsell and Murphy pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to burglary and robbery in company with actual violence.

A victim impact statement from the couple said they were "completely distrustful" of people now, wary of anyone they didn't know walking up their driveway, and had installed security on all their doors and windows since the burglary.

The court heard Murphy was the primary offender in the home invasion, assaulting the man and taking the watches. The three had been behind bars since the day of the offence, having had bail refused.

Judge Greg Koppenol said as Bell and Monsell were only parties to the violence, which had been carried out by Murphy, they would be allowed to leave prison immediately. He sentenced them both to three years jail, declared the 261 days they'd spent behind bars already as time already served, and granted them immediate parole.

Murphy is yet to be sentenced.

Topics:  burglary, home invasion, ipswich district court, robbery




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