Tomahawk home invasion left grandmother in fear

A KANGAROO Flat grandmother was left living in fear and unable to return to work after an 18-year-old armed with a tomahawk stormed her house in June.

Jarrod Searle, of North Bendigo, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Friday to aggravated burglary, criminal damage, three counts of theft and assaulting a police officer.

The court heard Searle banged on the door of the MacKenzie Street West house at 8am on June 27, demanding to speak to a man named “Paul”.

A 62-year-old grandmother, a 46-year-old man and his five-year-old son were inside the house.

Searle used a tomahawk to smash the window and gained entry, searching the kitchen and stealing medication, keys and a credit card.

He also confronted the man and the young child in a bedroom before police were called and he fled the scene, running through a Weir Court house to a construction site on Alder Street.

A construction worker tackled Searle to the ground and he was arrested.

Searle then kicked the bag of evidence from the police officer’s hand.

In a victim impact statement, the 62-year-old woman said the attack left her in fear.

“The home was a safe place before this attack,” she said.

“I could not go back to work because of the distress.”

Searle also pleaded guilty in relation to a road rage incident in which he followed the driver of a utility for five kilometres in Bendigo on June 25. He ran into the back of the ute, causing $1246 damage, and continued to pursue the driver.

Searle told police the man had been “hooning” and he “wanted to scare him”.

Defence counsel Kate Youngson said Searle had an acquired brain injury from a car crash in California Gully last year, which caused him to have a “lack of impulse control” in regards to his drug consumption.

She said he had also been using methamphetamine and Xanax on the morning of the offending.

“Clearly the offending came about because of drug consumption,” Ms Youngson said.

The court heard Searle had been a regular drug user before the car crash.

He has spent 151 days in adult custody.

Crown prosecutor David Cordy requested an immediate term of adult imprisonment, but Judge Irene Lawson believed that would be counter-productive.

She requested a youth justice report before Searle is sentenced on December 2.

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