Three Illawarra men involved in a violent armed home invasion at Mangerton were acting out of a "misguided sense of mateship", a court has heard.
Benjamin and Nicholas Bilboe joined their friend Steven William Firmin in forcing their way into the home of the victim, Jayden Thorton-Eddy, in October 2017 in a bid to settle a dispute over the sale of a mobile phone.
The trio left empty-handed, with the brothers both sporting injuries - Benjamin a serious cut to his back - from the confrontation.
Court documents said Firmin had sold the phone to Thornton-Eddy in mid-2017 for $80, however a dispute developed between the pair over whether more money should have changed hands.
The court heard Firmin went to Thornton-Eddy's house on the morning of October 7 to discuss the matter, but left when the conversation grew heated and returned 20 minutes later with the Bilboe brothers in tow. Benjamin was armed with a meat clever concealed down his pants at the time.
The trio demanded Thornton-Eddy pay up or return the phone, resulting in a fight between the victim and the brothers (Firmin had already left the room by then).
The matter came to police attention when the trio each went to hospital for treatment to their injuries.
Judge Andrew Haesler accepted the Bilboe brothers had been motivated at the time by their desire to help Firmin, who has an mild intellectual disability.
"Out of misguided mateship they decided to assist Firmin and committed, as consequence, a serious criminal offence," Judge Haesler said.
Meanwhile, prosecutors conceded they could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the brothers were not acting in self defence during the fight.
The court heard all three men had come from very dysfunctional and deprived backgrounds.
Judge Haesler found none of the three were likely to reoffend, especially Nicholas, who had done "everything possible" to assist in his own rehabilitation.
Nicholas was handed a 12-month conditional release order, while Firmin and Benjamin were handed 18-month and 2-year community corrections orders, respectively.