Axe-wielding intruder jailed

Photo: AAP Image/Con Chronis

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

An ice-addled and armed home intruder who erratically fled in a stolen car and veered off the road to avoid a police intercept has been jailed.

Trent Harrison, 39, of Dandenong, pleaded guilty to a range of charges at the Victorian County Court including dangerous driving, unlicensed driving, aggravated burglary, car theft and breaching bail and intervention orders.

In June 2022, Harrison sent a ‘dick pic’ and text messages to a Hampton Park woman. She responded she was reporting him to police, adding “you deserve everything you get”.

“Yeah so will you in the next 20, you’ve been playing me the whole time now it’s my turn,” Harrison typed back.

Within 20 minutes, Harrison was armed with a meat cleaver and an axe multi-tool trying to break into her home.

He pried open two outside French doors with the cleaver despite the victim’s attempts to keep them shut.

She was flung backwards as he forced his way into the home. Another occupant was cut on the wrist by wood that flew off the door.

Ranting and raving, Harrison rifled through bedroom drawers before stealing car keys and the victim’s Commodore.

Later that night, police attempted to intercept the car in Hampton Park. But Harrison fled out of sight despite police activating their lights and siren.

Air Wing officers observed the Commodore being driven with headlights off on the wrong side of a wet road.

Harrison narrowly missed a head-on crash while overtaking on Pound Road, Narre Warren South, and drove off the road to dodge police stop sticks on Filmer Crescent.

Despite police demands to get out of the car, Harrison tried to accelerate his Commodore which was bogged in mud.

An officer smashed the car window and twice tasered Harrison, who was eventually pulled from the car and arrested.

Harrison later admitted he was affected by meth at the time.

His victim described to the court her terror and continued flashbacks. Her car was subsequently a write-off.

In sentencing on 8 February, County Court judge Kellie Blair noted Harrison was motivated to steal rather than assault during his armed break-in.

His erratic driving while in a “poor state” was a “serious” example of dangerous driving.

The judge noted Harrison’s “significant” prior criminal history but also his long battles with mental illnesses, drug abuse and a significantly neglected, deprived childhood.

According to a psychologist expert, he’d require extensive community supports including medication management and a rehab facility to address his “chaotic mode of living”.

His high risk of reoffending would otherwise be heightened by drug use, unstable accommodation and a lack of routine.

In a “difficult” sentence, Harrison was convicted and jailed for 16 months – which includes about a year already served in remand.

He will then serve an 18-month community corrections order including supervision, judicial monitoring and drug and mental health treatment.

He was disqualified from driving for a year.