A gang of masked burglars terrorised a Victorian family at gunpoint, threatening to crush the father's skull and chop off fingers as they demanded cash and gold.
Prominent restaurateur James Frangos was at his Ballarat home with his family when the intruders burst in waving guns.
He was beaten with a metal pole as his family watched and was told he would be shot if he didn't comply with their demands for money.
Kerry Francine Murrell, 46, her brother Lloyd Anthony Murrell, 43, and their nephew Anoir Murrell, 25, have pleaded guilty to armed robbery.
The family were locked in a bedroom and were told their fingers would be cut off, or Mr Frangos' skull crushed if they resisted.
The trio then ransacked the home, the Victorian County Court heard on Friday.
Mr Frangos and his wife Dianne, their two daughters and three grandchildren aged under three were in the home at the time of the December 2010 burglary.
Just days before the home invasion, Lloyd Murrell visited a friend in Ballarat and asked her "who's loaded" and living in the area, the court heard.
The friend recommended the convicted burglar target the Frangos, the owners of award-winning Daylesford hotel Frangos and Frangos.
The group expected to find $150,000 in cash in a safe at the Frangos home, but ended up making off with jewellery, the court heard.
They were charged in May 2012.
Prosecutor Daniel Porceddu said the well-prepared crime was one of the most serious examples of aggravated burglary.
"They had come prepared to deal with resistance," he said.
Lawyers for the trio said their clients had all suffered abusive and disadvantaged upbringings.
Both Lloyd Murrell and Anoir Murrell had suffered from drug dependency and were at low points in their lives when they offended, the court was told.
Lloyd Murrell has prior convictions for burglary and was on parole at the time of the offending.
He pleaded guilty to armed robbery and two counts of handling stolen goods.
Anoir Murrell pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and four counts of armed robbery, while Kerry Murrell pleaded guilty to armed robbery.
All three listed their current address as the Metropolitan Remand Centre.
They will be sentenced at a date to be fixed.