Invaders threaten to cut off victim's ear

A FATHER is set to be deported following his conviction over a nasty home invasion.

The Eagleby man was one of three home invaders - one threatening to use garden pruners to cut off their victim's ear.

An Ipswich court heard that one of them also told the elderly male resident he would split his head open with a hammer.

One of the offenders, William Reid, now joins the growing number of New Zealanders convicted of crimes in Australia to be ordered to leave the country after completing their jail time.

Details of the offence were revealed in Ipswich District Court when William Keremete Pirinoa Reid, 32, and his Australian co-offender Dougal Scott MacPherson, 30, pleaded guilty to Crown charges of entering a dwelling with intent by break in company at Woodend on February 21 last year; and robbery with violence when armed/in company.

MacPherson, originally from Bathurst, also pleaded guilty to car registration offences, and 13 stealing charges mostly involving fuel drive-offs that added up to more than $1000.

Crown prosecutor Cameron Wilkins said MacPherson had already spent 18 months in jail awaiting sentence, while Reid had been held just over 18 months.

MacPherson was subject to a parole order at the time. Both men had previous criminal convictions.

Mr Wilkins said a female known to the defendants obtained stolen keys to the victim's house and she went with the two men to the house.

MacPherson held a hammer, telling the male resident he would use it if he didn't give them money.

Drawers were opened and Reid demanded the man give him the PIN code to his bankcard. When he refused, Reid punched him in the face, the man then giving a false number.

Mr Wilkins said one of the intruders threatened to kill him, a tree pruner was held close to his ear, the threat made to cut off his ear if he didn't give them money.

The court heard the trio took cash, two chainsaws, a jerry can and garden tools in the heist. The female had taken a plastic bag with some smaller items.

MacPherson was found by police eight hours later in his car. And Reid and the woman were arrested elsewhere.

Mr Wilkins said MacPherson admitted stealing the chainsaws and garden tools from the man's garage.

"Fortunately he only suffered a minor injury. A small cut, graze to his face," Mr Wilkins said.

He said the 12 stealing charges involved the theft of fuel with a value of $1045.73.

Mr Wilkins sought a head sentence of four to four-and-a-half years, saying the men went to the house to confront the man about something they'd been told.

"People ought to feel safe in their own homes and not be attacked by intruders who are armed," he said.

Mr Wilkins said Reid's Australian visa would be cancelled and he would not be released into the community but go straight into Immigration Detention to be deported.

Reid's defence barrister Damien Gates said there was no premeditation to the robbery, intending only to go there so the female could give the man a letter.

Reid arrived in Australia from Hamilton, New Zealand, in 2012. He has two children in Australia and a third child in NZ.

MacPherson's defence barrister Nick Brown said his client's criminal history included low-level offences mostly linked to his drug use.

"He says jail has been a blessing in disguise. He has worked, and studied while in custody," Mr Brown said.

"His (past) drug use had increased to using half a gram a day, and he was using intravenously."

Judge Orazio Rinaudo said the facts were extremely concerning, with MacPherson named as the offender holding block buster hammer next to the man's ear saying "If you don't give us money I'll split your head open".

He said a garden implement, a tree branch pruner, was also used.

MacPherson was sentenced to three and a half years' years jail, to be suspended after he serves 551 days. The sentence resulted in his release from custody on the same day.

Reid was sentenced to three-and-a-half years' jail, suspended after serving 568 days, which was also equivalent to time already spent in custody. He will be taken straight into immigration custody.

The female involved Elisa Bernadette Cochran, 44, will be sentenced at a later date for her lesser role on charges of burglary and stealing.

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