Elderly man in Wodonga home belted with a wooden plank for $140 in cash

CRIME SCENE: Police examined a house on the corner of Lawrence and William streets in Wodonga on Sunday after a man was allegedly assaulted. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON

CRIME SCENE: Police examined a house on the corner of Lawrence and William streets in Wodonga on Sunday after a man was allegedly assaulted. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON

A second person has been arrested over the brutal assault of a 75-year-old man in his home on Saturday.

Paul Branson, 46, arrived at Wodonga Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning to support his partner, Louise Bryson, who had been in custody over her alleged role in the assault.

He was immediately arrested and interviewed by Wodonga detectives, before being charged with armed robbery, robbery and aggravated burglary.

Detective Senior Constable Andrew Leonard told The Border Mail the victim was watching football in his Lawrence Street unit about 4.20pm Saturday when Bryson allegedly snuck inside and struck him several times over the head and arms with a wooden plank.

He said investigations revealed Branson’s alleged involvement.

“We’ll be alleging that when the events took place, she’s the one that committed the assault, but we believe he was acting in concert,” Detective Leonard said.

“We’ll be alleging that the attack had been planned for the purpose of obtaining money.”

An amount of $140 in cash was allegedly stolen from the elderly man’s wallet.

Bryson’s highest charge was aggravated burglary, but Detective Leonard said police would increase that to armed robbery to match Branson’s charges.

He said the victim was back at home after sustaining substantial injuries.

“He’s sore, in pain, but he’s OK,” he said.

Branson briefly appeared on court on Tuesday.

Barrister Sally Wilson did not apply for bail, but told the court her client required medication for a significant back injury while remanded in custody.

His case was adjourned for a committal mention on July 13.

Bryson’s charges were also called before the court, but solicitor Mario Vaccaro adjourned the case until Wednesday.

He had earlier said his client had been considering an application for bail.

Any application would be opposed by police.

Bryson had fled the scene of the alleged crime, leaving police to apply first aid when they arrived, before being arrested at her London Road home about 8am Sunday.

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