Former parishioner invaded minister’s house, court told—(The Canberra Times)

Original article no longer available.

The Canberra Times

BY NOEL TOWELL, LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER
28/04/2009 7:11:00 AM

A woman accused of a”bizarre” Sunday afternoon attack on an Anglican minister and his family in Canberra’s north was overpowered by her intended victims, the ACT Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The court was told that 32-year-old Nadine Busacker was trying to rob the clergyman of the church collection when she allegedly staged a daylight invasion on the Kaleen home demanding the ”day’s takings”.

Constable Christopher Carter said that Busacker was armed with a knife and a toy gun and had a bandanna tied across her face when she arrived at the Reverend Stephen Simkus’s home just after lunchtime on Sunday.

Mr Simkus, the minister of nearby St Simon’s Anglican Church, was at home with his wife Robyn, his son David and his nine-year-old grandson when police allege that Busacker, a former member of their congregation, came knocking on their door.

Police allege that when Mrs Simkus opened the door about 12.45pm, she was confronted by the masked Busacker who grabbed the 60-year-old grandmother by the wrist and forced her back inside. According to Constable Carter, Busacker then demanded money from the stunned family. ”Give me the day’s takings,” she is alleged to have said.

The court heard that Busacker was then wrestled to the ground by the two men and held there until police arrived.

Constable Carter told Magistrate Maria Doogan in court yesterday that police were worried that Busacker, who has convictions for robbery and theft, might approach the alleged victims if she was released on bail.

Busacker’s lawyer, Helen Cory, told the court that her client’s alleged behaviour might be explained by her having taking an unusually large dose 400 milligrams of anti-depressant drugs in the hours before the alleged home invasion.

Busacker was remanded in custody to appear next month.