Bendigo man who supplied the shotgun and planned a shooting near Melton to spend years in jail

A BENDIGO man who organised and took part in an armed hold-up near Melton in which a man was shot in the knee has been jailed for a minimum of four years and four months.

Willem Hennessy, 28, drove his co-accused Rougen McLoughlin, 21, to the address on December 8, 2016, gave him a sawn-off shotgun, and threatened to bash him if he did not carry out the plans.

Hennessy was sentenced in the Bendigo County Court on Friday on charges of armed robbery, theft, burglary, handling stolen goods and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Hennessy contacted McLoughlin in the early hours of December 8 with a plan to rob his drug dealer of cash and drugs.

Hennessy had just stolen a Mazda CX9 from a house in Bendigo, which he planned to use in the robbery.

They collected a quantity of ice in Bendigo and drove to Melton where they injected it. Hennessy then handed McLoughlin the shotgun with his instructions to point the gun at the victim. 

He made McLoughlin fire one round as practice.

They met the victim and his partner in Kurunjang, near Melton. The victim believed he was selling ice to the pair.

Hennessy lured the man from his car and he walked towards the Mazda, where McLoughlin “lurked with the loaded shotgun”.

Hennessy gave the signal and McLoughlin exited the car, pointing the shotgun at the victim and shouting “give me everything”.

Hennessy punched the victim to the face and ran towards his car. When the victim advanced towards McLoughlin, he shot him in the knee.

The two men then fled in the Mazda and the victim’s car, leaving the victim “at the scene bleeding heavily”.

Police later found the Mazda at Hennessy’s address. Shotgun cartridges were also found at the house.

Hennessy also stole a Ford Territory from in front of the Bendigo Town Hall four days later, and burgled the car’s owner in Ironbark.

Judge Paul Lacava said it was clear that Hennessy was the main offender.

“It was all your idea,” he said.

“You introduced the weapon and showed McLoughlin how to use it. You provided the ammunition.

“Your involvement in this offence is, in my mind, deserving of sterner punishment than your co-offender.”

The court heard Hennessy had an “extremely troubled and unstable” childhood, including being injected with heroin by his mother at age 11.

He was jailed for six years and six months, with a non-parole period of four years and four months. He has served 431 days.