RODNEY James Bennett, 32, has gone on trial in the Orange District Court for aggravated break-in and is accused of smashing his way into a house in Wakeford Street and assaulting and threatening a man while his two children watched on.
Bennett is now on bail after successfully applying through the Supreme Court for release earlier this year.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being represented by barrister Bill Walsh with Rebecca McIlveen, who has represented Bennett in the local court, as instructing solicitor.
Police allege Bennett tried to gain entry to his victim’s house through the front door in Wakeford Street in November last year and when he was unsuccessful forced entry through the back door.
The alleged aggravated break-in occurred around 8pm when the victim was at home with his two children.
Police say the victim’s traumatised children - a boy, 14, and an eight-year-old girl called police for help when Bennett allegedly fled from the house following the assault.
Yesterday the jury was chosen from a pool of 18 women and four men.
After the jury was sworn in the presiding judge Christopher Hoy gave the jurors an overview of the judicial system in relation to their role as jurors.
He told them before the first evidence in the case is heard today there are a couple of issues of points of law in the case which have to be sorted out between the crown and defence team.
Justice Hoy told the jurors this was a common occurrence in criminal matters which come before the court and had to be carried out before he gave them final instructions.
“I suppose you could say I am something of a referee in all of this but it is a serious indictable defence,” he said.