Family sells Qld home after violent attack

·3-min read

A family of four left their home of 10 years and never returned after an attack led by two drunk neighbours that began in the presence of two young children, a court has heard.

Russell Ian Hirst, 55, and his son Trent Malcolm Hirst, 25, took part in a violent assault and home invasion with another man in Brisbane's north in April 2021.

Judge Bernard Porter said the victims paid a heavy price, with the family forced to sell their home and relocate after the attack.

Their children - aged four and two - were initially present when the men set upon a bystander then forced their way into the family's home, only retreating when threatened with a knife.

"The police arrived shortly after and (the family) left their ... home of 10 years, never to return," Judge Porter told Brisbane District Court on Tuesday.

The family's victim impact statement "gives an account of their anxiety, the interruption to the lives of their children, and the financial and emotional cost of having to leave their home".

There was ongoing conflict between the neighbours because Russell Hirst - a plasterer - had completed work but had not been paid by the employer of the family's father, the court heard.

It came to a head when the father and mother were sitting outside a neighbour's house with a friend at about 5.30pm in April last year.

An intoxicated Russell Hirst emerged from across the street and yelled: "The boys are on their way - the party is about to start".

Russell Hirst walked over and "chest barged" the 35-year-old mother while she was holding the two-year-old before his drunk son Trent stopped her calling police on her mobile phone.

Another man arrived and joined the Hirsts as they set upon the family friend, repeatedly punching and kicking the "mere bystander".

The three men turned their attention to the 30-year-old father who had returned home.

The trio smashed through a glass sliding door before confronting the father, yelling: "What are you going to f***ing do now".

The father grabbed a kitchen knife and locked himself into a bedroom before the three men tried to force their way in.

The bedroom door began to break with shards cutting the father's forearm and chest.

They finally left after being threatened with the knife, yelling: "Your whole family is f***ed now, you think the fortress out the front will protect you?"

"That threat was justifiably taken seriously," Judge Porter said.

"I have no doubt it was the home invasion that caused them to leave and sell the house."

Russell and Trent Hirst pleaded guilty to one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm, common assault and burglary by break using violence in company with property damage.

Russell Hirst was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail and will be eligible for parole in 12 months.

He must also pay $3000 compensation for damage caused.

Trent Hirst was sentenced to two years in jail but is immediately eligible for parole.

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