A NORTH Albury man was punched to the face and choked while his two children slept in nearby bedrooms in a savage home invasion, a court heard yesterday.
The victim’s children — a son, 12, and daughter, 10, were asleep in their Koonwarra Street home, unaware of the bashing their father was receiving over an alleged debt.
But when both children were woken by noise, the girl went to investigate and one of three intruders, allegedly Michael Previtt, grabbed her by the head.
A young accomplice, a juvenile who cannot be named, made it clear to Previtt the children should not be harmed and the terrified girl was ushered to her brother’s bedroom.
Previtt’s son, Dustin James Foye, appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday in custody on a charge of aggravated break and enter committing a serious indictable offence of actual bodily harm.
Foye, 19, applied for bail, which was opposed by police prosecutor Sgt Andrew Pike.
Solicitor Andrea MacDonald said Foye lived in Thurgoona Street, would abide by a curfew and his mother could provide a $1000 surety.
Magistrate Tony Murray said it was a serious, violent offence and Foye was on bail for matters of violence in Victoria.
He was remanded in custody to reappear via a video link from jail on February 2.
The court was told in tendered police documents that the victim, 39, was asleep about 10.50pm on Sunday night when he was woken by banging on his front door.
He went to the door, asked who it was and received the response: “Dustin”.
The main door was unlocked and the victim could see three people through a locked screen door.
Foye claimed he was owed $3000 by someone who previously lived with the victim and wanted to know his current location.
It was then claimed by Foye that the victim was jointly responsible for the money.
Previtt ripped open the flimsy screen door, the three assailants entered and Foye pushed the victim in the chest, causing him to fall backwards into a wall.
Foye grabbed the victim from behind, restricting his movement, and Previtt started throwing punches at his face and head.
The victim attempted to fight back, but was overpowered as the struggle moved into a hallway where a number of glass picture frames were smashed.
Previtt took hold of the victim’s throat and applied pressure to the point where he believed he was going to pass out.
The victim was told by Previtt he knew about the children being present and they could be harmed if the debt was not paid.
He then punched the victim to the back of the head before being convinced to leave.
Police were called by witnesses who heard the victim and children screaming.
One came from a neighbouring property armed with an iron bar in an attempt to assist the victim, but police had arrived.
Foye was heavily intoxicated when police found him hiding in a yard in the street.