Daily Examiner

Men face court for home invasion

A WOMAN was raped and a man had his finger dislocated in a terrifying home invasion in South Grafton on November 15 last year - it was the second home invasion at the Bent St address in nine days.

Travis Braam, 21, of South Grafton and Andrew Mark Stewart, 24, of Clarenza pleaded guilty to involvement in both home invasions while a third offender, Ashley Jack Cullen, 20, of Croydon has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the second incident. All three are in custody.

Agreed facts tendered to Grafton District Court this week in the Braam matter said the resident of the Bent St house, a 51-year-old man, was awoken by a loud noise in the early hours of November 7, 2010 and saw two men standing outside his glass doors wearing helmets.

Braam was holding a "jemmy bar" and Stewart was holding a metal baseball bat, the document said, and both were demanding entry.

Fearing they would break the door, the man let the intruders in and he was hit in the head with a the baseball bat, kicked and punched as the men demanded money, valuables and drugs.

Stewart stayed with the man while Braam ransacked the house and Stewart threatened to cut the man's finger off before pinning him against a wall and holding a knife to his face. The offenders stole $15,000 cash, a hunting knife and two mobile phones.

While searching the home, Braam found a woman hiding behind a cupboard in a bedroom.

Both victims were told that telephones lines had been cut and they should remain in a bedroom before the men left.

The agreed facts went on to say the complainant did not report to this incident to police nor seek medical attention for the cuts and bruises on his face because he was cultivating cannabis in the home.

But eight days later Braam and Stewart returned with Cullen and ripped a screen door off its hinges to gain entry to the home at 11.30pm.

All three wore helmets and this time Stewart carried a sawn-off shotgun, Braam a baseball bat and Cullen a knife.

Stewart hit the man with the butt of a gun and placed the barrell in his mouth demanding money and valuables before the man was thrown to the kitchen floor and punched.

The man's arms and legs were bound with duct tape, the document said, and one of the intruders held a knife to the man's finger and threatened to cut it off, dislocating it in the process.

A female friend of the man and the man's flatmate pleaded for the man not to be harmed.

The document said that the intruders told one of the women that the man would be left alone if she performed sexual acts on the intruders.

The woman perfomed oral sex on Stewart before she was raped by Braam.

The offenders stole a crossbow, an antique shotgun and $200 before leaving.

The woman reported the crime the following day and police attended the address to find the man injured, the house ransacked and 39 cannabis plants growing.

Braam was arrested on November 19 and Stewart handed himself into police on November 24.

Cullen was arrested on March 31 this year near Maroochydore, Queensland and told police he received $60 and 10 grams of cannabis for his involvement in the incident.

Stewart's case has been adjourned till December 5 at Grafton Local Court where a date for a comittal hearing is expected to be set.

He has pleaded guilty to robberty with an offensive weapon and detaining a person in company to get advantage occassioning actual bodily harm but no plea has been entered for the numerous sexual and indecent assault charges.

Braam pleaded guilty to 12 charges in Grafton District Court this week including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated break and enter and detain person in company with a sentencing hearing set down for February 27, 2012.

Cullen pleaded guilty to four charges including aggravated break and enter, and detain person in company but faced no charges of a sexual nature and will face sentencing on the same day as Braam.



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