A Bendigo man who robbed a man while armed with a tomahawk in a case of mistaken identity has been spared imprisonment.
Mark Waycott, 36, was sentenced in the County Court this week after pleading guilty to one charge of armed robbery and one charge of common assault.
On September 4 last year, Waycott went to a Strathdale hotel with friends.
During the evening, tensions rose between Waycott's friends and another man at the venue over a drug debt.
After the venue closed at 1am, Waycott and his friends wanted to confront the man in the car park, but he had already left the area.
Waycott and a friend then began walking home, but were told the man and others were waiting for them nearby.
Waycott got into the back of a ute and went looking for the man.
More court news: Man imprisoned for Bendigo arson spree
He came across two men who were complete strangers, but mistook them for the man he was looking for and one of his friends.
Waycott grabbed a tomahawk, approached the pair and threatened them.
They fled, but Waycott chased them.
He punched one of the men multiple times and stole his mobile phone and keys.
Waycott was arrested a short time later.
"The victims of your offending have not made victim impact statements, but I accept that your offending would have had a terrifying and traumatic effect upon them," Judge Mark Dean said in the sentencing hearing.
While the victims were strangers to Waycott, Judge Dean noted that Waycott also had no personal dispute with the man he sought that night and his offending "cannot be explained".
He said it appeared Waycott's decision to take multiple drugs earlier that day might have influenced his behaviour.
More court news: Police officer in fear when shot fired at vehicle, court told
Judge Dean said Waycott was genuinely remorseful for his offending and took into account his guilty plea in his favour.
He accepted Waycott's upbringing was disruptive and his personal circumstances were "characterised by hardship", and he would benefit from support and engagement in the community.
Judge Dean said the purposes of sentencing would be best met through a community correction order.
Waycott will spend two years on the correction order, during which time he must complete 150 hours of unpaid community work.
He must also undergo treatment for drugs and mental health.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.