A WHITE Hills man accused of using a cricket bat to bash a former schoolmate has been committed to stand trial in the County Court.
Jonathan Stewart, 30, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday for a committal hearing and entered a not guilty plea to charges of aggravated burglary, intentionally causing serious injury and making threats to kill.
The court was told Stewart attacked an old schoolmate when he found the man in the bathroom of his “on again, off again” girlfriend.
Prosecuting, Damian Plummer said Stewart came in the back door of the woman’s Eaglehawk house in the early hours of
June 23 last year, armed with a cricket bat.
Mr Plummer said Stewart entered the bathroom, where he found his former school and workmate and immediately started assaulting him.
He said Stewart first struck the man to the legs with the cricket bat, which pushed him over into the bath.
The court was told Stewart then punched and choked the man.
Giving evidence to the court, the victim said the attack had lasted “more than five minutes” in which he didn’t get the chance to stand up because he was using all his energy to fend off the blows.
Photos taken immediately after the incident showed the man’s face covered in blood.
Stewart’s defence counsel Brian Bourke argued that Stewart was not trespassing on the property because his former girlfriend had asked him over for dinner that morning.
Mr Bourke also said the evidence did not show the victim had suffered serious injuries.
He said the man left hospital two hours after he was admitted with bruising and some small cuts.
“There was no need for any real concern for this man,” Mr Bourke said. “He has had no further treatment since.
“I’m not saying there wasn’t some altercation, but this matter ought to be dealt with in this court (magistrates). It will save the time and costs of a trial.”
Magistrate William Gibb said it would be a matter for a County Court jury to decide.
“I accept the accused entered with intent, he was seen entering with a cricket bat and used it with such vigour it broke, whether that was on the victim or otherwise,” Mr Gibb said.
“He didn’t go in there to practice his batting.
“While he might have thought he had an open invitation, I think a properly instructed jury could convict.”
The case was listed for a directions hearing on February 19. Stewart’s bail was extended to that date.