Man 'forced to write apology’ during home invasion stemming from online dogfight

A FACEBOOK argument about dog ownership allegedly led to a home invasion where the resident was restrained and forced to write a letter of apology.

Samuel Richard Sammut was arrested and charged on Wednesday morning, the day after he allegedly forced his way into his neighbour’s home at Howlong as the man slept.

Police allege the 27-year-old had reacted to comments on the social media site directed to his partner.

The online discussion concerned responsible dog ownership and security in yards, but escalated into a real life incident.

Sammut allegedly broke into the victim’s Clarke Street unit about 10.40pm on Tuesday and injured the 71-year-old resident, causing actual bodily harm.

He is also charged with detaining him and forcing him to write an apology letter, and resisting arrest the following day.

His partner, 24-year-old Karlee Hyland, is also facing charges of intimidation.

The alleged victim is seeking restraining orders against the pair.

Sammut remains in custody until at least Friday, with his case to return to Albury Local Court.

Hyland was granted bail and will front court on Tuesday.

Detective Inspector Winston Woodward the man had bruising and scratching around his face.

“Also, you have to remember the emotions involved of somebody (being) assaulted inside their home,” he said.

“He is shaken up.

“Being assaulted inside your home is not nice at any time, especially a time of night when you believe you’re locked in, safe and secure.”

Detective Inspector Woodward said it was up to those on social media to use it responsibly. 

Police often attend incidents that have spilled over from the web into real life. 

“If you find yourself in an argument with a person on social media, take a break, walk away,” he said. 

“Or if you can't use it responsibly, delete the app and don't use it at all.

“I think there's an onus upon us to be responsible when we are using these platforms.”

The 71-year-old did not receive major injuries in the incident. 

Detective Inspector Woodward said he was aware of cases of schoolchildren being bullied online. 

He encouraged page administrators to take control when things get out of hand on sites. 

Police continue to investigate the matter. 


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