Angry mum invades home in Anzac Day mayhem
AN ANGRY mum who says her kids were threatened by a woman on Facebook took the law into her own hands and organised mates to storm the woman's house in the middle of the night.
When the woman saw a masked man in the gloom outside her Ipswich house at 1am on Anzac Day last year, she fled terrified as intruders smashed their way in through a back door.
She was tackled from behind in her yard, beaten and hit with timber.
Three of the offenders have spent a year in jail on a range of charges and went before the District Court in Ipswich to plead guilty to the charges related to the home invasion.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC heard mother of three Rebecca Louise Reynolds was the chief organiser behind the attack in Churchill on April 25, 2017.
Reynolds, 34, pleaded guilty to assaults causing bodily harm while armed/in company; and enter dwelling with intent by break at night and damage property.
Two co-accused - Damain Douglas Murphy, 33, and Isaac David Hopkins, 35, pleaded guilty to the same two serious charges although the Crown case against the men said their role had been much less than Reynolds.
Neither man went into the woman's house that night with the others or had committed actual violence.
But Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said both Murphy and Hopkins had more serious criminal records than Reynolds.
Mr Needham said there was ongoing disagreement by the victim and Reynolds over money.
On the night of the assault the victim locked her door but the intruders smashed the glass back door and a man inside was accosted before the woman ran out the front door and past a masked man.
As she ran toward Warwick Road she was struck from behind and fell to the ground.
She covered her face with her arms and was hit by fists and bats as she tried to protect her dog.
Mr Needham said the woman recognised Reynolds voice and face and heard Reynolds say "you want to threaten my kids".
"(The victim) was hit by large clubs timber or baseball bat," Mr Needham said.
Mr Needham said it was fortunate her injuries were not serious.
When police located Reynolds, a metal pole and a length of timber was found in her car with the words "f***ing dog" written on it. Reynolds said she'd "just lost it" and used the piece of wood to hit the woman.
"She wanted to hit her anywhere she could. There was premeditation as she organised people to come with her," Mr Needham said.
He said Hopkins first denied then admitted going to the house. He said he tried to stop it but Reynolds was "hot-headed".
Hopkins knew there were weapons but says he was there to break it up and did not take part in any violence.
Mr Needham said Murphy first told police he'd never been at the house then says he stayed in the car the whole time, which was accepted by the Crown.
Defence barrister John Jacob said Reynolds, who was raised in Maryborough, admitted using methylamphetamine and had used ice on the night.
He said there were Facebook messages that upset Reynolds as she believed they were threatening to her children.
Hopkins' defence barrister Mal Harrison said Hopkins was not armed, did not go inside the house and did not assault anyone.
"He went along for the ride. He wasn't part of the dispute," Mr Harrison said.
He conceded Hopkins' criminal history was not good but he was now a father and professional cultural dancer. Mr Harrsin said sadly Hopkins had lost two brothers in recent years with the low point 2016 when he was using drugs like ice.
Murphy's defence barrister Damien Gates said the Ipswich born father of four stayed in the car and did not get out. Murphy apologised to the woman for the trauma they caused.
He outlined Murphy's "prejudicial" background he had as a child in care, and suffered abuse when a Boystown resident. He used marijuana and alcohol from the age of 10.
Judge Horneman-Wren took into account their various backgrounds and offending, saying Reynold's attack was vicious at a time when she was "addled" by ice.
Judge Horneman-Wren noted Reynolds acted upon a perceived threat but what she did was inappropriate and inexcusable. She had used her time in jail well finishing various courses.
Reynolds was sentenced to two and a half years jail, immediately suspended for four years. Time was taken off because of the year she'd spent in custody.
Hopkins was sentenced to 20 months jail suspended for three years.
Murphy was sentenced to two years jail released immediately to parole, but stays in custody because of other matters.