Parents devastated by gutless attack

Parents devastated by gutless attack

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Tracie Barker fought back tears recounting their night of horror. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The parents of a young man brutally assaulted during a shocking home invasion are slowly coming to terms with the sudden explosion of violence that nearly cost their son his life.

In the early hours of Tuesday, January 25, three men wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons entered the secluded, family home on Versteeg Grove, Martin where Tracie Barker, her husband David and son Lloyd were sleeping.

“We live quiet, rurally, our house is very dark outside,” Mrs Barker told reporters on Friday.

“I was woken up by a light going on in the kitchen and our little dog running through barking. Then it yelped, and I sat up and three people just walked into the bedroom,” she said.

As the startled couple struggled to comprehend the situation, one of the men left the bedroom to explore the house, where 21-year-old Lloyd was emerging from his bedroom.

What followed was a shocking brutal assault, as two of the men viciously attacked the defenceless Lloyd using weapons including an axe and a hammer.

“He had a hammer, he chased him down the corridor and he was trying to hit Lloyd,” said Mrs Barker.

“As Lloyd was trying to defend himself, another man with an axe came and hit him in the back of his head, fracturing his skull and cutting into his brain,” she said.

“We couldn’t do anything to get them away,” she said.

The explosive attack ended as swiftly as it began when the intruders ran from the house and departed in a vehicle.

Mrs Barker and her husband David, who lost a tooth in the struggle, rushed to their son’s aid.

“There was so much blood, we had to wrap him up in towels and we couldn’t wait for the ambulance, we got in the car and raced him down to Armadale Hospital,” said Mrs Barker.

“He was in surgery for seven and a half hours and we thought we were going to lose him.”

Thankfully, Lloyd survived the ordeal, but his wounds, including a fractured skull, lacerations to his shoulder and injuries to his hand, have gutted the young man of his career.

“He’s an arbor-culturist, he can’t do that anymore because they tore ligaments in his hand, his shoulder, his head is bracketed,” said Mrs Barker.

“He’s still in the hospital but he can’t even go back to work for another six months, he can’t drive for six months, he needs to go through therapy for his hand, the brackets will always have to be in his head,” she said.

The emotional toll of the nightmare attack was plain on the faces of Mr and Mrs Barker, who tragically lost their youngest child, Harry, to an ongoing illness less than two years ago.

“Lloyd’s little brother just died 18 months ago and this brings it all back,” said Mrs Barker.

“Lloyd supported him so much, he had to make many sacrifices for Harry, he’s such a wonderful boy,” she said.

“He’s a hero, he chased one and he was that worried for mum and dad, he didn’t know they were already in the house he was shouting out to let us know,” she said.

“He works so hard and he’s such a kind loving person, there aren’t the words to describe him.”

Mrs Barker said the attackers need to hand themselves into police.

“It could be anyone. The city isn’t safe with these people walking around, they can just walk into your house and attack you just like that, for what?” she said.

“They nearly killed my son, I don’t want them to hurt anyone, we don’t want it to happen to any other family. They need to hand themselves in.”

“We hope that somebody somewhere knows something, and these people can be stopped, I’d hate it to happen to someone else,” said Mrs Barker.

Armadale detectives have made a call to the public for anyone with any information, CCTV or dashcam footage they believe may assist police with their enquiries to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestopperswa.com.au.