A TRAUMATISED mother still suffers nightmares after a group of nine balaclava-clad intruders invaded her Bundaberg home at night wielding weapons including a hammer, knife, baseball bat and metal bar.
As her two children slept, their 20-year-old mum was caught up in a frightening ordeal in which she was struck by the hammer.
A 10th intruder acted as a look-out in the yard of the Hinkler Ave home. The watcher was Jacob Meiers.
The 18-year-old last week pleaded guilty before a judge in the District Court at Bundaberg to more than two dozen offences that took place between July and September last year. He has spent the past eight months in custody.
The offences include assaulting and doing bodily harm to a teenager on September 13, entering a house with intent by break at night when armed, in company and using violence on September 14; assaulting a woman causing her bodily harm when armed in company; stealing baby gear, a pressure cooker, air compressor and other items; unlawful use of a motor vehicle; entering premises on July 14 and stealing; five counts of wilful damage (including tyre slashing); stealing a bicycle; and entering premises on August 31.
Crown Prosecutor Melissa Wilson said a boy, 15, had been walking his dog when Meiers, armed with a metal pole, and other youths (one with a knife) walked up to him. The boy was kicked and Meiers hit him with the pole.
Ms Wilson said Meiers was one of 10 offenders who broke into a house after one of them had a disagreement with a male occupant over money. Only his partner and two children were home. She was in bed when they walked in wearing balaclavas.
When told the man was not home, they left but stole his wagon.
In another crime, Meiers was with another male and two young females when he tried to punch a youth inside a vehicle being driven by his mother. A door was dented.
Ms Wilson sought a jail penalty of up to three years, saying there was a need for deterrence to protect people in their home and from street violence.
Defence barrister Peter Richards said Meiers now had some awareness of his offending and was turning his life around with the support of family.
Judge Helen Bowskill QC told Meiers his activities "present a pretty unattractive picture of you".
"Acting out of control and in a disrespectful way towards society on the facts before the court," she said.
Judge Bowskill said the boy who had been robbed told police he felt a knife being held against his throat, and had been hit by the metal pole around his leg, body and arm.
She said the home invasion was terrifying for the young woman.
"She is hit by a hammer. An absolutely terrifying incident," Judge Bowskill said.
"You didn't go into the house but by law you are guilty as you were a party to this. I read her victim impact report. She suffers nightmares, sleeplessness. This night is on constant repeat in her mind."
Sentenced to three years in jail, the 247 days Meiers spent in custody was declared time served.
Judge Bowskill ordered his immediate release to supervised parole, saying she hopes he was motivated to do the right thing.
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