A drug addict dressed as a Victoria Police officer before storming an associate’s home screaming “This is a police raid” and “Where are your drugs?”
Thinking he was the real deal, Daniel Thomas’ two victims handed over their ice and cannabis stash before being beaten so badly with a hammer that police who arrived later at the scene thought they were dead.
“This is a police raid! Get on the floor facedown. Where are your drugs?” Thomas and a co-accused yelled as they walked into the unlocked Lilydale home on July 25, 2016.
Thomas, 36, believed the men were holding back and beat one of them with a hammer until he passed out.
“We’ve killed your mate. Now tell us where the drugs are,” the man was told after regaining consciousness and realising it was not, in fact, the police.
The other victim woke up and was hit in the head then his pants were pulled down and buttocks spread to check for drugs.
Legitimate police officers later arrived to find blood-stained walls and floors, and believed the men had died so began taking photos of their bodies.
Officers realised their mistake when one of the men moved.
In Victoria’s Supreme Court on Tuesday, Thomas was jailed for 11-and-a-half-years and must serve nine years before being eligible for parole.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and a series of other charges.
When police tracked down a drug-addled Thomas over the vicious attack, he pulled out a knife and lunged at an officer.
“You come near me you f***ing dog c*** and I’ll stab you in the f***ing head and kill you,” Thomas said before being tasered and sprayed with capscium spray.
He had been injecting a couple of grams of ice each day as well as using GBH, cannabis and heroin, and had also gone off his antidepressants.
Thomas’ victims have not returned to work and both are expected to suffer lifelong complications from their injuries.
Justice Paul Coghlan did not accept Thomas’ claim he attacked them because one “had supposedly done something to a girlfriend of yours”.
“The use of police uniforms, the demand for drugs and money repeated on a number of occasions simply put a lie to that explanation,” the judge said.
Thomas is almost blind in one eye after being born with a squint and has an acquired brain injury, possibly from being hit over the head with a cricket bat during a road-rage incident 10 years ago.
“Even though I regard your prospects as being fairly bleak, I do not regard them as hopeless,” Justice Coghlan said.
Thomas has not taken drugs during his 1126 days of pre-sentence detention and has applied to work with prisoners who are “not all there”.