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Matthew Ivan Ockenden behind bars for three years after breaking into Manjimup home and destroying property

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Breanna RedheadBusselton Dunsborough Times
Matthew Ivan Ockenden.
Camera IconMatthew Ivan Ockenden. Credit: Facebook

A man who drunkenly broke into a terrified mother’s home and assaulted her while her four children slept inside after mistaking it for his friend’s house has been thrown behind bars for three years.

Matthew Ivan Ockenden, 33, appeared in Busselton District Court on Monday where he was sentenced for the horrific act, pleading guilty to aggravated burglary and assault along with one count of criminal damage.

The court was told that on September 12 last year, the Rockingham man travelled to Manjimup with his former partner and child to stay with a friend.

That night, Ockenden became severely intoxicated and was encouraged to walk to the friend’s mother’s house to sober up.

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Upon arriving at the house he was denied entry for his “belligerent” behaviour and was later found wandering the streets before passing out in some bushes.

At 2.45am, Ockenden returned to where he thought he was staying shouting out to be let into the house.

Inside, the victim and four children were sleeping — the victim calling out advising Ockenden he was at the wrong house, asking him to leave and calling the police.

He then attempted to enter the home, damaging the front door, before climbing over the property’s fence and entering the home through an unlocked back door.

Inside the victim repeatedly asked the man to leave when he pushed her and punched her in the chest, forcing her to the ground.

The man then went into one of the children’s bedrooms, who was not in there at the time, damaging walls and smashing windows.

He was later arrested by police.

In his submissions to the court, defence lawyer Michael Laurino said Ockenden has been “burdened by mental health” for the majority of his life after breaking off an engagement due to infidelity, witnessing a severe fatal car crash in 2011 and later losing a friend — who also witnessed the crash — to suicide.

He admitted Ockenden had also “lightly used” meth to help himself escape.

It was further submitted the trip on which the offending occurred, was to act as a getaway after going through what the defence described as a “breakdown” the week before.

During a police interview, the man admitted he was “mortified” at his actions with Mr Laurino saying the remorse expressed “rings true” today.

Chief Judge Julie Wagner handed down a total sentence of three years, admitting the decision to not suspend the order weighed on her “heavily”.

She said it was clear he was suffering a lot of “mental anguish” which factored into her decision but his conduct ultimately “wrecked another’s life”.

“You violated the sanctity of the victim’s home where she is entitled to feel safe,” she said.

Ockenden was in tears in the docks, while his mother told him “I love you, sweetie” before he was taken away.

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