Teen jailed but walks free over violent home invasion

TWO baby-faced Gympie teens who carried out a violent home invasion at Bells Bridge last year have been sentenced to stints behind bars.

But one of the teens walked free from court after the judge deemed the time he had served behind bars was appropriate. The other will be eligible for parole in six months.

Shane Dylan Bayliss, 18, and Jeremy Jay Smith, 18, pleaded guilty on Friday in Brisbane District Court to a litany of charges that took more than 10 minutes to read out.

Both teens were charged with armed robbery in company, assault causing grievous bodily harm while armed, grievous bodily harm, arson, stealing and wilful damage.

The charges stem from a violent home invasion on August 2 last year where they broke into a home on Ellis St, Bells Bridge at 1.30am.

The court heard both teens were on probation orders for unrelated offences when they committed the home invasion.

Crown prosecutor Dejana Kovac said both teens had extensive criminal histories, both as juveniles and adults, which was concerning given their ages.

She said Smith's four-page criminal history was littered with more than 50 offences for property, driving, stealing, assault and weapon-related offences.

Ms Kovac said Bayliss's three-page criminal history had offences for driving, traffic, assault police and stealing offences.

She said the home invasion was extremely violent and was carried out in the dead of night.

"They entered the house in the middle of the night armed with metal bars and a tomahawk," she said.

"They were also wearing balaclavas and were wearing gloves.

"They woke up a man and woman who were sleeping in their bed and started beating the man about the head, shoulders, arms and torso.

The court heard the teens took off with a safe and keys to a motor vehicle that was later found burnt out at Cedar Pocket.

Ms Kovac said the man had a fractured skull and lacerations to his head and face as a result of the attack.

She said both victims are still extremely traumatised as a result of the incident.

"This was a very serious and violent crime," she said.

"These people were asleep, were woken up then brutally attacked in their own house.

"Both the man and woman were subjected to extreme violence and continue to have flashbacks, trust issues and safety fears.

She said Smith and Bayliss are "no strangers to the legal system and have been given numerous opportunities to mend their criminal ways but that has clearly been unsuccessful".

Smith's barrister Stephen Courtney said the time his client had spent inside prison had been a sobering experience and the penny had dropped that he needed to change his ways.

Bayliss's barrister Simone Bain said her client had used his time behind bars constructively and the experience had taught him a few life lessons.

Judge David Reid sentenced Bayliss to four and a half years behind bars but took into account the 288 days he had already served and released him on immediate parole and placed Bayliss on a five-year probation order.

Judge Reid sentenced Smith to five and a half years behind bars and after taking into account the 294 days he had already served, ordered he be released after serving 15 months.

Smith will be eligible to apply for parole on November 7 this year. - APN NEWSDESK.


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