Jail for violent home invasion

A MAN who viciously attacked another man in his own home over the theft of false teeth and a treasured photograph was yesterday sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ jail.Former Ballarat man Patrick O’Loughlan, 35, and Adam Rybalka, 29, of Ballarat, were drunk on cask wine and prescription medication when they armed themselves with a steering wheel lock and nunchukkas and broke into the victim’s Webster St unit to retrieve the items on September 10 last year, the County Court in Ballarat was told.Both pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and aggravated burglary last month.Yesterday, Judge Susan Cohen sentenced O’Loughlan to two-and-a-half-years’ jail, with a minimum parole period of 15 months for his role in the attack.She adjourned the case against Rybalka until January 22 in Melbourne, following the submission of further plea material.”This was an outrageous and frightening attack in which you invaded the victim’s home and assaulted him with weapons brought for the purpose,” Judge Cohen said in sentencing O’Loughlan.”Your actions reflected much more than simply retrieving your items, they reflected revenge.”All indications are that this offence caused serious injury.”Judge Cohen said the victim required hospital treatment for two serious lacerations to his head that O’Loghlan inflicted with the steering wheel lock but said she accepted both he and Rybalka acted in concert in the attack.She said she accepted that O’Loughlan, a former heroin addict who had strong support from family in court yesterday, was living a “marginalised lifestyle”, was living in a “semi-reclusive condition” and had chronic depression at the time of the attack.However, Judge Cohen said though he did not have a history of violence, an immediate jail term was her only option, despite demonstrated efforts to address underlying psychological issues that contributed to his offending.”You had been brooding for some time over your grievance against (the victim),” she said.”But the violence displayed in savagely attacking the victim cannot be explained as simply the product of a marginalised lifestyle and the grievance you held.”I’m not convinced you have shown much remorse to (the victim) but to yourself and the situation you find yourself in.”
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