Rifle allegedly wielded in Golden Square burglary

A GROUP of Golden Square housemates barricaded themselves in a bedroom while a man threatened them with a rifle in front of their house, a court has been told.

Justin Hole, 26, of Craigieburn, was allegedly trying to collect a debt from one of the house’s occupants, who was not present because he was already in police custody.

Hole appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday facing a range of charges including multiple counts of theft, trafficking a drug of dependence and possessing an offensive weapon.

The incident occurred at 4am on November 13, when Hole and an unknown co-offender arrived at the house on Mistletoe Street to allegedly collect a drug debt.

When they were told the man was not there, Hole allegedly pulled out a .22 calibre rifle and demanded the keys to a ute parked in the driveway.

They were then locked out of the house, before Hole allegedly threatened to shoot through the front door. The house’s occupants barricaded themselves in a bedroom and called police.

Hole and the co-offender allegedly forced their way through a roller door and attempted to steal two motorcycles, before fleeing the scene in an Audi Quattro.

He was arrested during a raid on a property in Brunswick West on Nomvember 22, and allegedly found in possession of 3.7 grams of methamphetamine, ziplock bags and scales.

A subsequent raid on his Craigieburn residence uncovered ammunition and a rifle scope, but no firearm. The firearm allegedly used in the Golden Square aggravated burglary has yet to be found.

The court heard Hole was already on bail. He was arrested and charged with trafficking and possessing methamphetamine and ecstasy on September 29 when he was the passenger in a car that allegedly rammed a police car in Meadow Heights.

Detective Senior Constable Debbie Graham said Hole would continue to commit drug and violence-related offences if he was released on bail.

Hole represented himself in court on Wednesday, and denied a number of the charges.

“I haven’t had a gun in my life, I never even want a gun,” he said.

“How could I get to Bendigo? I don’t have a car.”

Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said the discovery of ammunition and a scope in Hole’s bedroom “suggested some connection with firearms”.

Hole was denied bail and will next appear in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on February 15.

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