He had been trying to help a girl he met online, but the victim of a violent assault ended the night in fear for his life as he was bashed to the head with a bat.
The victim stood in Wangaratta Magistrates Court this week to give evidence, confronting the two people allegedly responsible for the attack: Tyson Craig, 22 and Stacey Robinson 24.
The pair have been in custody since the incident on November 3, charged with offences including intentionally causing injury, car jacking and armed robbery.
The victim had been messaging another woman on a mobile phone app while in Wodonga and offered to drive to Wangaratta in his ute to collect possessions from her grandparent's home after a recent death.
After loading bags into the car, he was left waiting for more than 10 minutes before a man inside asked him to come and help again.
As he stepped out of the car, Craig allegedly struck him from behind with what he thought was a baseball bat.
"As I looked up it was coming towards my face," he told the court.
In his police statement, he said the attacker had a T-shirt wrapped around his face.
"I remember putting my hand up to protect myself because he just kept hitting me," he said.
"I was in fear for my life."
The victim was allegedly hit four times before fleeing towards the house and heard a female voice tell him to give the attacker his car keys.
"I tried to barricade myself behind the door before throwing the keys, but I was pushed back quite forcefully," he said.
He eventually threw his keys on the lawn and was allegedly followed inside by Craig, who told him to "get back".
"He wanted me further down the hall so I wouldn't make any attempt to follow him or fight back," he said.
"It did look like he was drug-affected ... he had abnormal strength."
When Craig left, the victim locked himself inside the house, before he heard his ute being driven away and called police.
After suffering cuts to his head, he still has issues with his hearing when confronted by loud or high-pitched noises.
Allan Blackberry was at the house on the night and said he saw Robinson leave the house before the alleged assault.
He said he saw Craig "flying through" towards the victim and tried to tell him to "stop" when he allegedly hit him with what he thought was a wooden pole.
"All I remember is the bloke in the ute screaming," he said.
"I couldn't believe what was happening."
Mr Blackberry ran away, only to see Craig allegedly run in the same direction, followed by Robinson allegedly driving the stolen ute.
He said she offered him a lift, but he said no, and saw Craig get in the car before the pair drove away.
Craig's defence barrister David Gray asked how Mr Blackberry could identify the attacker when he had only met Craig twice and the man had a bandanna around his face.
"I knew who it was," he replied.
Mr Gray also questioned if police had asked the victim to look at photographs to identify his attacker, which he had not, but stressed the victim had done nothing wrong.
"You obviously suffered a very, very nasty beating on that occasion," he said.
Craig and Robinson both pleaded not guilty to the charges, but were committed to stand trial and will next face the County Court in May.
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