AN ACCUSED armed robber who allegedly assaulted a man in Bendigo after sending him threatening messages has been refused bail.
Eaglehawk man Benjamin Thatcher, 40, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday after he was charged with offences including armed robbery, intentionally causing injury, and assault with a weapon.
The court heard the mother of the alleged victim reported that her car had been stolen on May 12 this year.
Police then found the vehicle in Eaglehawk, close to where Mr Thatcher lived. The fingerprints of Mr Thatcher's co-accused were also allegedly found on the vehicle.
Police alleged on July 13, Mr Thatcher sent a threatening message to the alleged victim, calling him a "police informant dog".
The court heard two days later, the man was driving with another person in California Gully when he pulled to the side of the road to take a call.
The man saw a vehicle perform a u-turn and park nearby before he allegedly saw Mr Thatcher, a co-accused, and two unknown males come towards him.
Police alleged Mr Thatcher punched the man through the open driver's side window before ripping the keys out of the ignition and throwing them onto the ground.
The co-accused allegedly tried to open the passenger's side door, but it was locked.
Mr Thatcher allegedly opened the driver's door and tried to break the man's leg while the co-accused ripped off the alleged victim's shoes.
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The court heard one of the unknown males smashed the car's windscreen, while the other unknown male allegedly used a drill to create a hole in the man's leg.
Police alleged throughout the incident, Mr Thatcher called the alleged victim a "dead man" while the man hit the car horn to get help.
Mr Thatcher, the co-accused, and the two other males allegedly returned to their car and sped away from the scene.
The court heard the victim was taken to hospital for injuries including bruising and swelling to the face, as well as a superficial wound to the leg.
Mr Thatcher was arrested at his Eaglehawk home on August 8, while his co-accused was arrested on July 22.
Detective Senior Constable Wendy Turner said it was believed the offending was done in retaliation to the alleged victim's mother making the police report.
Senior Detective Turner said the alleged victim was very fearful of Mr Thatcher and the co-accused, and was worried they would come after him.
Defence counsel Tom Battersby told the court Mr Thatcher denied any involvement in the alleged armed robbery and assault.
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Mr Battersby said Mr Thatcher had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017, so he had an uncertain future.
The defence counsel said the 40-year-old had been deemed suitable for the Court Integrated Services Program, which would provide him drug counselling and support if granted bail.
Mr Battersby said given the charges were still in dispute, there could be a significant delay in the court proceedings.
But Magistrate Trieu Huynh said none of those circumstances were exceptional.
Mr Huynh said Mr Thatcher had served terms of imprisonment since his cancer diagnosis so his condition could be managed while in custody.
The magistrate said the offending was serious so if Mr Thatcher was ultimately found guilty, then he would be looking at a significant jail term.
Mr Huynh refused bail and Mr Thatcher was remanded in custody. The 40-year-old is due to return to the Bendigo Magistrates' Court next month.
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