A barrister is mystified as to why his carpenter client "poked his nose into other people's business" and turned into a vigilante home invader, suggesting the man "probably thought he was Superman".
Offender Marco Marzotto, 33, was described at a sentence hearing on Friday as "the leader" of a violent July 2020 attack in which he smashed a plate on the victim's head in suburban Belconnen.
The Canberra man only met his co-offenders on the night in question, when they got talking at the Wanderlust Gentleman's Club in Mitchell.
Some other members of the group, who were all much younger than the 33-year-old, alleged a man who lived in Spence had committed serious offences against them.
Marzotto suggested they go to this man's home to "talk" to him, with Justice John Burns saying it seemed as if the carpenter was "the initial motivating force" behind what came next.
Prosecutor Katrina Marson told the ACT Supreme Court judge Marzotto had "exerted his influence" over the others and remained that force throughout the entire episode.
She said he tried to kick down the victim's door when the group arrived at the home and eventually broke in through a window.
Marzotto shoved the man's pregnant sister once inside and "initiated the assault" on the victim, on whose head he at some point smashed a decorative plate.
The group stole two phones from the victim and it was the 33-year-old who subsequently broke them back at the adult entertainment venue in Mitchell, setting the carpet on fire in the process.
Ms Marson suggested Marzotto, who was on parole at the time in question, later blamed his co-offenders and falsely claimed to have just "tagged along" with them.
"It's the Crown's submission that he exerted his influence on them," she argued.
Ms Marson urged Justice Burns to impose a sentence that would denounce "vigilante justice" and deter others from dishing it out.
Marzotto's barrister, James Sabharwal, was mystified as to why the 33-year-old even got involved, telling the court Marzotto "should've just minded his own business that night".
"Being on parole, he should've stayed well clear," Mr Sabharwal said.
"He's much older [than his co-offenders]. He should've had much more sense."
Mr Sabharwal said Marzotto had a longstanding issue with alcohol and drugs, with the carpenter under the influence of both at the time of the offending.
But he said this was not an excuse and that, at 33, Marzotto needed to do something about his substance abuse issues.
"I don't know why he poked his nose into other people's business," the barrister said.
"It wasn't his problem at all. He should've stayed out of it and been a bit more mature.
"But, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he probably thought he was Superman."
MORE COVERAGE OF THE INCIDENT:
Mr Sabharwal went on to say he was heartened by Marzotto's plans to complete a therapeutic program in the Alexander Maconochie Centre should he be required to spend more time in jail.
The court heard Marzotto had already been behind bars on remand for nearly a year, though a little more than one month of that time would not count towards his sentence for the home invasion.
Justice Burns said he planned to sentence Marzotto on Monday afternoon.
The 33-year-old has pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, property damage and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
His five co-offenders have already been sentenced.
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