Benjamin Bilboe granted conditional bail over Mangerton home invasion

Investigations: Police at the scene of the alleged home invasion at Mangerton on Monday morning. Pictures: Georgia Matts
Investigations: Police at the scene of the alleged home invasion at Mangerton on Monday morning. Pictures: Georgia Matts

A teenager accused of taking part in the armed attack of a man inside a Mangerton home at the weekend has been released on conditional bail, as police revealed the incident has sparked retaliation attacks in the suburb. 

Benjamin Bilboe, 19, fronted Wollongong Local Court for the first time on Wednesday, two days after his brother Nicholas, 18, was granted bail in the same court for his role in the violent melee.

Court documents allege the siblings, along with a third man, Steven William Firmin, forced their way into Jayden Thorton-Eddy’s Myuna Way home on Saturday afternoon in a bid to retrieve a mobile phone Thorton-Eddy had previously purchased from Firmin at a heavily discounted price.

It is alleged Benjamin led the demands, asking Thorton-Eddy to return the phone, before the brothers turned the confrontation physical, allegedly producing a machete and a meat cleaver.

The court heard Benjamin suffered a deep laceration to his lower back during the confrontation, while Nicholas received cuts to his hands.

Thorton-Eddy received cuts and abrasions to the back of his head and shoulders. 

The brothers later sought treatment at Wollongong Hospital, claiming they had been randomly attacked on the street. 

The case came to police attention when Thorton-Eddy also presented at the hospital.

In court on Wednesday, police revealed Saturday’s incident had prompted several acts of retaliation from those within the Myuna Way/Johanson Street public housing community.

Among those acts was an alleged home invasion at Thorton-Eddy’s house on Monday in which he was bashed with a house brick and rock-filled sock. Four men have been charged over that incident.

In seeking Benjamin’s release on Wednesday, defence lawyer Matt Russoniello said his client disagreed with the police facts, claiming Thorton-Eddy had been the “real aggressor”.

“I’m told he’s a particularly unsavoury character,” Mr Russoniello said.

“My client says he went to the house for no more than to seek to retrieve the phone or payment for it.”

Magistrate Michael Stoddart agreed to release Benjamin provided he live with his mother, report to police once a week, not contact the victim or any witnesses and stay out of Mangerton.