Benjamin Crawford pleads guilty to Fairy Meadow home invasion charge

A Gerringong man has confessed to helping a friend carry out an armed home invasion at a Fairy Meadow apartment block last year.

Benjamin James Crawford, 34, organised to obtain a spare set of keys to the victim’s unit after telling his friend and co-accused the home contained items of value that would be worth stealing.

Court documents reveal Crawford’s co-accused gained entry to the unit just before midnight on October 13 while its occupants slept inside.

A male resident awoke to see the co-accused standing in his bedroom holding a machete.

The victim yelled “what the f—k are you doing mate” before jumping out of bed and chasing after the retreating intruder.

Crawford broke a window in the stairwell to escape, leaving a trail of blood as he fled. The pair disappeared from the complex, however officers later followed Crawford’s blood trail to nearby Cambridge Avenue and discovered him in Guest Park.

They also located the victim’s missing mobile phone and keys on top of a building in the park. Both items were coated in blood. Crawford was arrested without incident and taken to hospital for treatment.

Back at the unit, police found a bag that had been dumped near the front door as the two perpetrators had fled the scene.

It contained a host of items intended to be taken from the home including sunglasses, multi- tools, model cars, jewellery, DVDs and a number of keys.

Another plastic bag found nearby contained court papers in Crawford’s name.

Fingerprints matching both men were discovered on various items throughout the house including the machete, which had been dropped in the bedroom when the co-accused fled.

Crawford was charged on October 15 after his release from hospital. His co-accused was charged on October 29.

Crawford subsequently pleaded guilty to multiple offences. He will face Wollongong District Court this Friday to fix a sentencing date.