A COUNTY Court judge says he will show mercy to an Eppalock burglar whose mother died while giving evidence in court.
Jarrod Frank, 43, appeared in the County Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, assault, and attempted theft.
The initial plea hearing in July was vacated after Frank's mother collapsed while in the dock.
Judge Gerard Mullaly said this was the time to express mercy after Frank went through a "unique, traumatic experience".
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The judge said he was not inclined to impose a further jail term for the aggravated burglary offending.
Those charges stemmed from an incident at Frank's associate's property in Longlea on the morning of January 30, 2020.
The court heard Frank broke in through the front door of the home while his associate's friend was on the phone to 000.
The victim was sleeping in his bedroom when Frank entered with a kitchen knife.
Frank demanded drugs and money, before punching the victim to the right side of the forehead.
The man tried to punch Frank back and the pair struggled before falling to the floor.
Frank produced the kitchen knife and again demanded money.
The court heard the victim told Frank he had left his wallet in his car and Frank followed the man outside.
When the victim could not find his wallet, the pair returned inside and sat at opposite ends of the kitchen table.
Police arrived shortly after and arrested Frank. They found the knife on the kitchen table where the pair were sitting.
Frank was taken to the Bendigo Police Station for questioning and he made a no-comment interview.
The 43-year-old had been on bail at the time of the offending, after he was committed to stand trial for allegedly causing the death of Scott Bury in 2018.
Defence counsel Glenn Cooper on Thursday said it had been an "exceptionally rare and tragic" few years for Frank.
Mr Cooper said his client had spent 349 days in custody for the murder charge and another 382 days of pre-sentence detention while on remand for the burglary offences.
The defence counsel said that given the traumatic circumstances and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a further period of jail would be more burdensome for Frank.
Mr Cooper submitted that a community corrections order was the appropriate sentence.
Prosecutor Grant Hayward told the court while the prosecution initially called for a jail term with a non-parole period, they now conceded that a corrections order was within range.
Mr Hayward said the order would need to address drug abuse and mental health issues to ensure Frank did not relapse and reoffend.
Judge Mullaly adjourned the matter so Frank could be assessed for the corrections order.
Frank's bail was extended ahead of his sentencing hearing later this month.
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