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Tongala man sentenced over drug-fuelled attack

A Tongala man has been given a community corrections order after breaking into a Kyabram house and assaulting an occupant.

RIAHN SMITH April 15, 2014 3:32am

A Tongala man who forced his way into a Kyabram home and attacked the occupant while a child was sleeping nearby was fuelled by a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol, a court has heard.

Kevin Hitchcock, of Everard Rd, pleaded guilty at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday to burglary, recklessly causing injury and breaching an intervention order.

The court heard the burglary charge was downgraded from aggravated burglary as part of a plea agreement.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kim Talbot told the court Hitchcock, 46, kicked his way through the front door of the home and stormed into the bedroom where the victim and his child were asleep.

Leading Sen Const Talbot said Hitchcock approached the victim’s bedside and began punching him to the face, causing scratches, bruising and swelling, as well as neck soreness.

She said the man also punched a hole in the bathroom wall.

The court heard the incident breached an intervention order between Hitchcock and the victim’s children.

Lawyer Adrian Ambrose told the court his client was a devoted father and carer for his ageing parents, who had previously been in a seven-year relationship with the children’s mother.

Mr Ambrose said Hitchcock had been affected by a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol and could not remember the incident.

He said the drugs had been prescribed for his client in 2010, but said Hitchcock had not used them in some time and on the night of the attack took a larger dose than was advised.

He argued while the incident was a disastrous episode, it was a one-off occurrence.

In sentencing Hitchcock, Magistrate Ian Watkins told him family violence was becoming endemic in the community and the excuse of alcohol and drug-affected was unacceptable.

‘‘You had an intervention order against you ... your behaviour on the day was just unacceptable,’’ he said.

Mr Watkins sentenced Hitchcock to a 12-month community corrections order including 200 hours of unpaid community work.

He said the order would also require Hitchcock to complete drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

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