IN COURT: Adam Lye.
IN COURT: Adam Lye.

Petrol sniffer sold kids drugs

TWO young men have been sentenced and jailed over a violent Bundaberg home invasion in which a hammer was used to strike a young mother.

Neither of the men were armed with the hammer but a judge in the District Court decided their role was serious enough to require jail terms.

The home invasion involved 10 people, including teens, and was over a debt allegedly owed to one of the group for an unpaid loan for a car.

Judge Michael Shanahan jailed two of the offenders, Adam Lye and Dylan Fischer, after they pleaded guilty to the home invasion offences on September 14 last year.

A third offender, Hadyn Shorten, 27, pleaded guilty for his role in the home invasion and to the later arson of a stolen car. Shorten will be sentenced at a later date.

Adam Ross Lye, 25, described as being a petrol sniffer and father-of-four, was sentenced to five years jail for the home invasion and received two years for arson of a $19,000 car and trafficking cannabis to children.

Lye pleaded guilty to burglary at night with violence when armed in company, assault causing bodily harm, stealing, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and arson of a vehicle.

Lye also pleaded to trafficking a dangerous drug to minors, possession of drugs, and possession of property gained through drug offences. Lye will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 20 months.

Barrister Paul Rutledge said Lye instructed he was kicked out of school in Year 9 and developed addictions including bad petrol sniffing from 15 and a cannabis habit.

Aged 18 Lye stopped regular petrol sniffing, which he did when stressed, but in the month before the home invasion Lye was again petrol sniffing.

Lye said he helped Shorten in the crime as an "act of friendship".

"He accepts he has anger issues. When he smokes weed his mind does not race," Mr Rutledge said.

"He (Lye) knows he is a different daddy when on drugs and doesn't want that for his son."

The court heard Dylan James Fischer acted as "look-out'" during the home invasion and took no part in the arson of the car.

Fischer, 20, was sentenced to two years jail and will be released after six months jail to parole on December 24. He pleaded guilty to burglary at night with violence when armed in company, stealing, and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Fischer, a deckhand and tomato picker, was also sentenced over the assault in company of a youth aged 15. That offence happened the day before the home invasion and Fischer kicked him (others hit him with poles) after thinking he had his mobile phone.

Barrister Robert Gordon said Fischer, who is soon to become a father, instructed he was hanging out with the wrong crowd.

"He was drinking, using methamphetamine and cannabis twice a week but has stopped its use," Mr Gordon said.

"He knew it (home invasion) was wrong and stayed outside as look out and he encouraged younger children to stay out."

Mr Gordon said Fischer was not present when a co-accused pulled a knife on the youth, although Judge Shanahan commented that he seemed to have been the instigator.

Crown prosecutor David Nardone said a man named Coleman lived at the Bundaberg house, and that Shorten loaned him $6000 and had been paid back $1000. A plan was made at Lye's house to break into the house because Shorten "was not happy with the repayment plan".

Mr Nardone said Shorten was the instigator and addressed the nine other offenders, saying they were to take anything for the $9000 owed.

They disguised themselves with black hoods, had t-shirts over their faces, Lye was armed with a baseball bat, and (a girl) had a hammer. The victim told police one person had a knife and two other people were armed with poles.

Mr Coleman was not home and the girl pushed the woman down then struck her with a hammer.

Items were taken, Mr Coleman's car was driven away where Shorten and Lye stripped out its radio and amplifier before driving to an isolated area and using petrol to ignite it.

Mr Nardone said Shorten later lied to police by claiming his innocence.

In her victim impact statement the woman says she suffers: "sleepless nights, nightmares, anxiety, and found it difficult to leave the house, the night replaying in her mind."

Mr Nardone said police at Lye's house found a cash box with money, clip seal bags, a tick-sheet, grinder, electronic scales and 13 grams of cannabis.

"He admits selling cannabis to friends and acquaintances. He sold in $50 (and) $20 amounts every second or third day," Mr Nardone said.

"He admits the enterprise was to fund his own habit. He also sold to minors, 16-year-olds."

Court was told that a co-offender, Jacob Myers, 18, had already received jail time for the home invasion and for assault of a youth, 15.

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