A GUNMAN released on parole was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he opened fire on a Strathfieldsaye house during a 2020 home invasion.
Madison Thol Martin, 28, pleaded guilty on Wednesday morning at the Bendigo County Court to conduct endangering life, common assault, home invasion and breaching his parole.
The court was told Martin was living at Eaglehawk in June 2020 and was in the midst of "drug-fuelled decision-making" when he chose to terrorise a couple who lived at the house over a $200 debt.
Martin had sold a car to a woman for an agreed price of $1600, which had been paid for by installments, with $200 outstanding when the car changed hands.
The buyer was having difficulty paying the final amount and had expressed misgivings about the condition of the vehicle over Facebook Messenger. Martin responded with threats and later went to the house with a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun and fired it through the front door before kicking it in and entering.
The County Court was told he was accompanied by unemployed Jessica Ann Parker, 22, and the pair began yelling at the buyer who was on a couch at the property.
Martin said "you owe me money! Where's my fu*king money?"
Parker encouraged him to hit the woman's face and shoot her foot. He aimed the gun at her eyes and then feet.
As Martin left the house he made another threat.
"I'll be back," he said. "You better make sure you've got my money."
Police later questioned Martin and he admitted visiting the property but said the victim had been "going off her head...crazy" and he had left after two minutes without committing any crimes.
Defence lawyer Melinda Walker said Martin's drug use had been escalating due to relationship stress in the lead-up to the offence.
He was also "feeling on edge" at the time because he believed somebody had shot at his car, blowing out the back window and he did not know who they were.
He had been employed as a trades assistant at a construction company while he was on parole but had returned to prison after being arrested and had served the full sentence. Ms Walker said Martin came from a loving family and a stable home but had got involved with drugs as a teenager and it had led him to commit crimes.
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Ms Walker said Martin left school in year 11 and moved in with a relative before starting to couch surf.
"It was during this period in his life that he came into contact with and began using ice which predictably led to criminal offending, detention then imprisonment."
Prosecutor David Cordy said an analysis of data from Martin's electronic monitoring bracelet showed he had been at the Strathfieldsaye property for seven minutes.
A forensic examination of the property revealed a single gunshot hole to the front door of the premises.
There were shotgun pellet impact marks and pellets on the right-side panel of the fridge, the door frame and the plaster wall, the court was told.
Police executed a warrant at his Eaglehawk home and seized a sawn-off shotgun with black tape on the handle, ammunition, black electrical tape, two mobile phones and a CCTV hard drive. Both Martin's and Parker's DNA were found on the gun.
Ms Walker said Martin had two prior convictions for conduct endangering life but those were for driving offences and had included a police pursuit. He had also previously committed weapons offences involving guns and knives.
She said it was conceded that discharging the shotgun during the home invasion was an "escalation" of Martin's use of weapons and that he had no way of knowing if anybody was standing behind the door when he fired.
Ms Walker said Martin had served several periods of imprisonment and had a history of breaching court orders.
She said his prospects for rehabilitation were "guarded" but he was still a relatively young man and could still make changes to his life.
Judge Claire Quin adjourned the case until April 1.
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