Machete-wielding burglar cleared after Aussie routine goes wrong

SYDNEY (AFP) – A machete-wielding Australian hired to break into a home, tie the tenant up and stroke with a broom has been cleared of intimidation after accidentally entering the wrong house.

Sydney man Terrence Leroy and an associate turned up at a rural home on a quiet Sunday morning last July armed and ready to carry out a routine organized on Facebook.

The unsuspecting resident initially mistook the intruders for a friend who had come over to make coffee and said, “Go off, it’s too early”.

When the men said their intended role-player’s name, the startled resident turned on the light and found them holding machetes next to his bed.

After realising he was not the willing participant, one of the pair apologised and shook the house tenant’s hand before leaving, according to court documents published earlier this month.

During the trial, Leroy’s lawyer argued that there was no intention to intimidate the stranger.

“It was a commercial agreement,” the lawyer said.

After excusing themselves, the pair – along with a driver – then headed to the correct address.

But instead of an encounter, the client reportedly prepared a breakfast and Leroy fell asleep on the couch.

Shortly afterwards, police arrived. Judge Sean Grant said he was satisfied Leroy – who was to be paid AUD5,000 – mixed-up the address.

“They carried the machetes either as a prop or something to use in that fantasy,” Grant said.

“The fantasy was unscripted and there was discretion as to how it would be carried out.”