Shepparton News

Man jailed for home assault

- By Monique Preston

A man who assaulted a father and son in their own home has been jailed for three years and three months.

Richard Wayne Kernaghan, 21, pleaded guilty in the Shepparton County Court to aggravated burglary, damaging property and recklessly causing injury, as well as the summary offence of committing an indictable offence while on bail.

The court heard Kernaghan and a co-accused went to the victim’s Cobram house about 7 pm on November 24 last year because Kernaghan believed the family who lived there was spreading rumours about him.

After the victims refused to open the door, Kernaghan climbed through the window with a tyre iron in his hand.

Kernaghan kicked in a bedroom door after a male victim, 38, shut himself in there with his father, 64.

Once Kernaghan and his coaccused were in the room, the 64-year-old held up a pair of garden shears and told them to leave.

The co-accused took the shears off the man and allegedly threatened to come back and shoot him.

Kernaghan swung a plastic cricket bat at the younger victim, who ducked, before then holding him while his co-accused allegedly hit the man with the bat.

Kernaghan was also on four counts of bail at the time.

The two victims were known to Kernaghan.

In a police interview Kernaghan admitted hitting the younger man twice and that he had ‘‘just snapped’’.

The court heard Kernaghan, who lived at no fixed address at the time of the assault but was arrested at a Cobram house, grew up in Finley and had started using drugs after his father died in a farm accident in 2016.

Judge Fiona Todd sentenced Kernaghan to three years and three months in prison with a non-parole period of 19 months for what she labelled a ‘‘terrifying and sustained attack’’ inside a family home.

‘‘You allowed yourself to become angry at a perceived offence,’’ Judge Todd said.

‘‘You entered in an angry and violent frame of mind. You were fuelled by alcohol and rage.’’

Judge Todd said she accepted Kernaghan felt remorse over the incident and his rehabilita­tive prospects were still good.

She ordered that the 293 days he had spent in pre-sentence detention count as time already served.

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