Gympie court: Trapped boy’s home invasion ‘terror’
GYMPIE District Court has heard of a trapped teenager’s “terror” during an armed home invasion by two men who claimed they “meant no harm.”
Cody Hazelgrove, 36, of Gympie was the other half of the two-man invasion, which left a young Gympie family fearing for their lives, especially a 14-year-old boy who found himself trapped in the family’s home.
Judge Bernard Porter remarked on the courage of the boy’s parents in re-entering the house to rescue him.
He also told Hazelgrove he had “a very sad and long history associated with drug use” and had been “in jail for much of his adult life.”
He had spent 12 years in jail out of the last 18 years, the judge said.
Judge Porter said the refusal of the two men to leave the home ultimately turned the incident into an eight-hour siege, which ended when the two men surrendered.
He said the drama could have ended peacefully at several points when Hazelgrove and his co-offender Tallen Steven Hames, 28, had the opportunity to leave.
Hazelgrove and Hames were armed with a machete and wheel spanner between them.
They ordered the family, including the father, mother, boy and sister, to leave the home and the children were picked up by a family friend.
Police arrived and found the house locked with the two men inside, one of them asleep.
They were ultimately taken to Gympie Police Station but not interviewed due to a police suspicion that they were drug affected, the judge said.
Judge Porter said the two had chosen the house at random and had not committed the offence with any prior planning or malicious intent, even though the consequences were similar in terms of the effect on the family.
They had disregarded the safety of the boy “by threatening the parents when they bravely re-entered the house to try to rescue their son.
“The terror of the child trapped in the house must have been significant,” the judge said, adding that it was important that once the boy appeared, the two men had taken no action to stop him leaving.
Judge Porter sentenced Hazelgrove to three years jail and took into account 251 days already served, with a parole release date of October 31.