6 January 2023

Mother avoids more jail time for home invasion she joined with her son

| Albert McKnight
Woman walking in street covering her face

Trinity Lee Hagen leaves custody after being granted bail in 2022. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A mother who joined her son and others to invade the home of her other son’s ex-girlfriend was spared any more time behind bars when she was sentenced.

Bailey Hagen, 20, has already been sentenced over his role in the incident, while his mother, Trinity Lee Hagen, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated burglary and assault by joint commission before being sentenced in late December 2022.

Trinity, Bailey, Mikaela Engeler, Rebecca Eade and an underage teenager went to their victim’s home at about 2 am on 31 July 2021, a recently released ACT Supreme Court judgment says.

The victim used to be in a relationship with Trinity’s other son Jordan Hagen, who had started dating Engeler and had been remanded in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

The group had gone to the home purportedly to get Jordan’s belongings. When they arrived, Bailey said, “where’s my brother’s sh-t?”, and the victim was dragged outside onto the veranda.

Eade and Engeler punched and kicked her, including to her head, while Engeler also burnt some of her hair with a lighter. The teenager stole her gold necklace and iPhone.

The victim ended up with welts to her head and neck, cuts to her ear, torso and hand, as well as singed hair.

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Meanwhile, Trinity went into the victim’s bedroom and started “ransacking” the place, Justice Belinda Baker said, packing items into a bag while also taking some that belonged to the victim.

“Some of the items taken were of a personal nature, such as life insurance documents, certificates and letters,” Justice Baker said.

“These items heighten the invasion of privacy that the victim experienced.”

A couple of hours later, Trinity emailed Jordan to say she had just returned from his ex’s home and there was “a commotion … but once I got home I rang the police and let them know that I attended [the victim’s] place and that all I did was simply pick up my son’s clothes and jewellery”.

Justice Baker said there was no evidence Trinity had seen the assault and she said she had returned the victim’s personal items which she had “taken by mistake”.

Trinity’s criminal history includes five counts of assault.

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She spent about seven-and-a-half months behind bars over the charges laid for the home invasion before being granted bail in March 2021 after the victim was taken into custody herself.

Justice Baker said it was concerning the 40-year-old showed little remorse, had limited insight into the impact on the victim and had described herself as “doing the right thing by her son”.

Trinity was convicted and sentenced to 16 months’ jail, backdated to account for time already served and suspended from December 2022 for a good behaviour order that ends in September 2023.

Engeler and Eade both pleaded guilty to assault by joint commission in the ACT Magistrates Court. The former was sentenced to 14 months’ jail fully suspended for an 18-month good behaviour order and the latter to three months’ jail fully suspended for a 12-month good behaviour order.

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