Knife-wielding uncle of girl, 15, killed in hit-and-run stages terrifying home invasion in act of revenge – but targets the wrong house and attacks innocent man in front of his son
- Sonny Mooney has attacked the wrong man in violent home invasion in Mackay
- Attack is a result of the death of Mooney’s beloved niece Nilly
- Nilly Mooney was killed in a tragic hit and run in March 2020
- Sonny Mooney was heavily intoxicated and wielding a knife during the invasion
The grieving uncle of hit-and-run victim targeted the wrong house in a vigilante home invasion, attacking an innocent man in front of his son, a court has heard.
A heavily intoxicated Sonny Mooney, armed with a knife, stormed into a home in North Mackay on the Queensland coast on June 22 last year.
Mooney believed the man was behind the tragic death of his 15-year-old niece, Nilly Mooney, who was struck and killed on March 1 as she searched for her phone on an road in Beaconsfield, Mackay.
Three months later, Mooney unleashed the home invasion after mistaking the car in the driveway as the one involved in the crash.
15-year-old Nilly Mooney (pictured) was killed in a shocking hit and run in March 2020
Jessica May Goulding, the driver of the vehicle that hit Nilly, later pleaded guilty to failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.
She was jailed for three years, serving 12 months and is set to be released in August.
Mooney’s defence barrister Scott Moon told Mackay District Court at the time of the home invasion ‘my client’s view was that she (Nilly) was murdered’, The Townsville Bulletin reported.
No one was charged with murder over Nilly’s death.
The court heard Mooney had a 13-page criminal history with relevant entries for violence.
He pleaded guilty to burglary with intent, two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and stealing smokes and a lighter.
Sonny Mooney believed he had seen the car of the person who killed his niece, Nilly (pictured) and unleashed a violent home invasion on an innocent man in front of his son.
‘He attacked (one of victims) in front of his son and continued to threaten him while he was on the ground,’ Crown legal officer Harriet Hall-Pearce said.
Judge Julie Dick said it was her suspicion the main reason for the attack was the large amount of alcohol Mooney had consumed. This included a full bottle of 40 per cent vodka and a 10-pack of premix bourbons.
Judge Dick said Mooney’s offending was persistent, adding to this suspicion.
‘This offence isn’t about retribution, it isn’t about getting money back, it’s pretty senseless really, so I’ll put that down to the alcohol,’ she said.
‘It was at night time, the man had just got home, it was in front of his son.’
Mooney was jailed for three years – which Judge Dick said was standard for a home invasion – with immediate parole release due to time already served.
Convictions were recorded.