ACT News


Home invasion allegedly sparked by shoes

The jury in a trial on a violent home invasion, where two people were beaten with a baseball bat, will resume deliberating on Wednesday morning.
There is no dispute two men armed with bats stormed the Bonython home about 4am in December last year.
But the ACT Supreme Court trial hinges on whether Rian Stephen Minnis, 29, was one of the men.
Minnis has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, entering a property without consent, and threatening to cause harm.
The court has heard a family were asleep in front of the television in the living room when the two men broke in to the home.
The Crown alleges Minnis used the bat to hit a woman on the leg and then beat a man about the head.
The man managed to escape and run to the back of the house.
The offenders then fled and the family called police.
The court heard the man suffered head wounds and the woman suffered injuries to her leg and wrist.
Crown prosecutor Mark Fernandez alleges the incident was sparked by an argument between the defendant and the man over a pair of shoes the previous day.
Mr Fernandez, in his closing address, told jurors the “nub of the case” was whether Minnis entered the house and assaulted the occupants.
The prosecutor said three of the five people present in the lounge room when the intruders burst in had identified Minnis.
The woman said she had known Minnis for about nine years and had been close friends with him for a time.
She said he lived across the road from her and lodged with her in the time she had known him.
The court also heard a child present during the attack had identified Minnis.
But defence barrister James Lawton said key identification details had been missing from the witnesses' evidence.
Mr Lawton pointed out three witnesses had nominated three different colours for the clothes worn by the offender.
Nor did the victims refer to tattoos or a black eye Minnis had at the time, Mr Lawton said.
The barrister argued the key issue for jurors was not whether the witnesses believed Minnis was the offender, but whether there was reasonable doubt as to whether it was the accused.
Chief Justice Helen Murrell gave the jurors final directions and sent them to deliberate about 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
The judge later sent the group home for the day.
The deliberations will continue on Wednesday morning.