REVEALED: ‘Most bizarre’ events of Lakes Creek home robbery
"THESE are the most bizarre series of events that unfolded that night," Judge Michael Burnett said of a drug-related home invasion in Rockhampton mid last year.
His remarks were made at the sentencing of Kaz Hubutus Van Den Hoek, 48, who pleaded guilty to an array of charges from the June 29, 2019, Lakes Creek incident.
He was charged with burglary while armed, armed robbery with personal violence, assault occasioning bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, miscellaneous acts with intent, common assault, possessing a category H weapon, possessing a category M weapon and possessing marijuana.
Crown prosecutor Elise Sergeant said Hoek, who had a nine-page criminal record, had been invited to the residence, along with others, to help the 33-year-old male occupant move house.
The court heard the defendant spoke with the others, went to the kitchen and made a coffee, offered the occupant some pizza - acting normal, until the home robbery started.
At some point that afternoon, Van Den Hoek left the room the others were in and returned a short time later with a shortened bolt-action .22 rifle with silencer attached.
Ms Sergeant said he told the three victims - two males and a female - to take off their jewellery and give it to him.
She said he also took their mobile phones, smashing the occupant's, and physically took a wallet from a male victim's pocket.
All the items were placed on the bed.
Van Den Hoek told the occupant he 'already planned to do seven years' and ransacked the room.
Judge Burnett said the occupant tried to calm an agitated Van Den Hoek down, but he responded in "an unpleasant way".
He said the defendant picked up a nearby axe handle and swung it sporadically at the occupant for 15 minutes.
Van Den Hoek told the others, as he kept swinging, to pack the items into toolboxes so he could take them with him.
He then struck the occupant with a metal object, leaving a laceration to his forehead.
The female went to the occupant's aid, only to be backhanded by Van Den Hoek.
Then, the occupant's dog came in and bit Van Den Hoek.
When the dog finished attacking the defendant, he produced a 5-10cm bladed knife.
The court heard the victims then cowered in the corner out of fear of Van Den Hoek's actions.
Van Den Hoek ordered them to continue packing the items in the toolboxes, with this continuing for hours.
"You continued to threaten them with the axe handle," Judge Burnett said.
At one point, Van Den Hoek told the other male he could drive Van Den Hoek somewhere with the stuff loaded in the ute.
Somewhere along the way, the rifle was put down.
Van Den Hoek exacerbated the situation by picking up a jerry can and threatening to burn the victims if they didn't assist him in finding the rifle.
"You made further threats to cut their penises off," Judge Burnett said.
Once the room was packed, Van Den Hoek directed everyone towards the kitchen and directed the second male to roll a cigarette and chop some marijuana.
This was when Van Den Hoek calmed down for a while, ushering the occupant into the bathroom to clean his wound.
The occupant used this opportunity to make his escape, taking the keys from the ute and hiding them in a mailbox. He continued to hide.
The court heard the occupant did not make a complaint to police at this stage, being concerned about how Van Den Hoek would react if police were to turn up.
When Van Den Hoek became aware the occupant had left, he made the other two victims walk with him to the adjacent property, then ordered the male to collect the keys from the ute.
The second male caught up with the occupant and the pair made plans to escape which involved calling a female associate to attend the house to deal with Van Den Hoek.
The court heard a neighbour witnessed the arrival of the woman, who was armed with a hammer and knife.
As soon as the woman found Van Den Hoek, he told her he was coming after her.
Meanwhile, the occupant snuck up behind Van Den Hoek armed with a metal pole and as he turned a corner, Van Den Hoek turned towards the victim with the cocked rifle, firing at least one shot.
"It's very much to your great fortune that you missed," Judge Burnett said.
The second female attempted to leave with an associate she had arrived with, fleeing in the same direction as the occupant.
However, Van Den Hoek caught up with her, pushed her over and was standing over her with the rifle pointed at her for a while.
He then approached and pointed the rifle at the second woman's companion who was in a car. The pair then drove off.
The court heard police, in an unmarked police car, tracked Van Den Hoek to a Norman Gardens residence.
They saw Van Den Hoek and called out to him but he didn't abide by their directions.
Police had to make a high-risk vehicle extraction to arrest him.
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Defence lawyer Maree Willey said Van Den Hoek was introduced to drugs when he was 11 years old by an uncle and started living on the streets when he was 14.
She said he had been on a three-month methamphetamine binge at the time of the incident, was remorseful and relieved "he didn't injury anyone too seriously".
Ms Wiley said Van Den Hoek's parents were ministers with the Assembly of God.
She said his father was physically violent and his mother had mental health issues.
They are both now deceased and his sister was murdered when she was 18 years old.
Ms Willey said Van Den Hoek had a 10 year gap in his criminal record, which was explained by the fact he completed a diesel mechanics apprenticeship he started when he was 35 and entered a long-term relationship with a woman whom he had a daughter with.
However, that relationship broke down in 2014 and he relapsed to drug offending.
Van Den Hoek has since been a voluntary psychiatric patient who was diagnosed to have had hypermania and mental health disorders due to drugs and alcohol, at the time of the home invasion.
The court heard he was treated with antipsychotics and psychological treatment, stabilising and no longer taking medication.
However, after stabilising from the other mental health issues linked to drugs and alcohol, childhood traumas surfaced and he struggled with depression.
"It's plain to see when you are on drugs, you behave in an irrational manner," Judge Burnett said.
The court heard the people involved in the home invasion were linked together by drugs with one being Van Den Hoek's supplier.
Judge Burnett ordered Van Den Hoek to seven years and six months prison, declared 397 days presentence custody with parole eligibility on December 28, 2021.
Van Den Hoek had been on a suspended sentence, issued in Bundaberg Magistrates Court in January 2018, at the time of the home invasion.