Chainsaw attack stuns Eaglehawk family

An Eaglehawk family was subjected to a “terrifying assault” by a group of men wielding a chainsaw, Molotov cocktail and crowbar, a court has heard.

Glenn Anderson, 43, and John Williams, 24, both implicated in the attack, faced the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Friday. The incident occurred at the McMahon family’s Truscott Avenue home on October 2, last year.

The court heard that at about 11pm, Williams drove his four-wheel drive onto the front lawn, yelling abuse at the family. He then drove through the McMahon’s front fence before speeding away. 

A short time later a group of men, including Williams and Anderson, arrived armed with a chainsaw, a homemade Molotov cocktail and what was believed to be a crowbar.

The men used the chainsaw to try to cut through the locked front door, and to break the windows of the lounge room, where the McMahon’s daughter stood frozen with her baby son and niece.

“They were saying they were going to kill us,” the young woman told the court.

“The man I now know to be Glenn Anderson was standing at the window yelling out threats holding a Smirnoff bottle with a rag in it.

“He said: ‘You, you dog, you and your mutts are dead’.

“Then he made a gesture like slitting his throat.

“I was frozen when I saw him, I didn’t know what to do, I was really scared.

“My dad came into the lounge and I ran with him to the kitchen.”

The court heard the assault lasted for around 10 minutes and left all the McMahon’s front windows smashed, the door a mess and the family’s two cars with broken windows.

In court on Friday, Williams pleaded guilty to one charge of affray.

Williams’ lawyer Lynda White said her client had drunk 24 Johnnie Walker cans, as well as some straight whiskey, before the attack.

But Anderson pleaded not guilty to charges of affray and making threats to kill, arguing it was a case of mistaken identity.

Anderson’s defence counsel Julien Lowy said his client had only been identified via Facebook and that was not adequate evidence.

But the victim told the court she would never forget Anderson’s face and was certain it was him who had threatened her.

“I know who I saw, I still suffer from anxiety and nightmares seeing his face,” she said.

Magistrate Richard Wright said he was satisfied Anderson was the person involved and found him guilty of both charges.

Magistrate Richard Wright said deterrence weighed heavily on his sentencing.

“This was a terrifying assault on these people, causing major damage to their property and significant impact on their mental stability,” he said.

Mr Wright sentenced Williams to six months jail, which Williams immediately appealed.

Anderson’s sentencing was deferred so some medical reports could be gathered. Williams was released on appeal bail.

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