Australia

Ex-West Coast Eagle’s night of terror in Apollo Bay

Luke Trew has been on bail since March 2019 after being charged over an assault and aggravated burglary. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

A former West Coast Eagles pick has admitted strangling a woman and cutting his own face before terrorising a man in his home.

Luke Trew, 42, pleaded guilty on Thursday to assault and aggravated burglary in the County Court of Victoria.

He was on the lists for the Eagles in 1995, the Western Bulldogs in 1996 and Essendon in 1997 but did not play a senior game outside of the WAFL.

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He continued to play for the Apollo Bay Hawks and mentored younger players, the court was told.

Luke Trew’s 1996 photo for the West Coast Eagles. Picture: Herald and Weekly Times
Luke Trew’s 1996 photo for the West Coast Eagles. Picture: Herald and Weekly Times

In the early hours of February 24, 2019, the now-carpenter was pacing, yelling incoherently and swearing, prosecutor Michelle Zammit said.

His lawyer said Trew had recently changed medication which, combined with “significant amounts of alcohol”, contributed to his terrifying behaviour.

He accused a woman of “making trouble” and choked her for several seconds.

The strangulation caused her to stop breathing, the court was told.

Trew threatened to start a fire and said he would slit a man’s throat and kill himself, Ms Zammit said.

He used a knife to cut his own forehead.

He held it to his throat and said, “Do you want to see me kill myself”, Ms Zammit said, before he went elsewhere with the knife.

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Trew then called police about 5am and said, “Someone was going to die tonight.”

He continued to call police, saying a man was a pedophile and police had done nothing about it, Ms Zimmett told the court.

Trew’s lawyer, Daniel Sala, said the court was not being asked to make a finding on that but “that is what was going through his mind”.

The court did not hear any evidence of that accusation.

Trew continued to call police, threatening “he was going to die because police were going to kill him” and telling police he would strangle the man.

Luke Trew (centre) pleaded guilty on Thursday to assault and aggravated burglary. Picture: Glenn Ferguson
Luke Trew (centre) pleaded guilty on Thursday to assault and aggravated burglary. Picture: Glenn Ferguson

He went to the man’s house, ripped a fly screen from a window and kicked in the front door, the court was told.

For about 30 minutes he threatened the man before police arrived and Trew was arrested “without incident”.

His lawyer said Trew’s memory of the night “isn’t clear”.

He said Trew had a number of stressors in his life that were “bubbling along”.

“What is certainly clear is he consumed significant amounts of alcohol as well as that change in medication,” Mr Sala said.

“He has a very limited memory of the lead-up to that incident.”

He said Trew was now engaged to be married, had worked as a kitchen hand while on bail and had strong community connections, including through footy.

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He will be sentenced on February 1.

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