A Sydney landlord who intimidated and assaulted a tenant after he fell behind in his rent joked the attack was a "Quentin Tarantino" moment that he would laugh about for years to come.
Mario Venneri, 57, on Thursday pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court to intimidation and assault charges over the incident, which began after his tenant Brice Gouillou fell behind in his rent payments.
Documents before the court reveal that, during a half-hour shakedown of Mr Gouillou last June, Venneri faked a phone call to a fictitious standover man named "Johnny" and placed a packet of yellow cable ties and chained bike lock on the table.
Venneri also threatened: "You have two ways to go, the good way and the wrong way."
The incident unfolded after Mr Gouillou contacted Venneri shortly after he began renting the terrace in Clifton Reserve, Surry Hills, for $950 a week in February.
Mr Gouillou, a French national, told Venneri the coronavirus pandemic had impacted his ability to pay rent. The men then agreed on an amended rental payment plan and the lease continued.
In May, Mr Gouillou began subletting the property to a woman without telling Venneri.
A month later, the woman bumped into Venneri, who was at the property doing some gardening, and she told him of the arrangement.
Venneri then contacted Mr Gouillou, informing him that subletting the property was against their agreement, it should end straight away and that Mr Gouillou now owed him $6684.
On June 17, after evicting the woman and changing the locks, Venneri waited inside the property for Mr Gouillou, who arrived home with a friend, Paul Remilly.
Venneri invited the men inside the property before texting his friend of 20 years, Anthony "Tony" Joseph Mowad saying: "Come now mate." Mowad arrived a short time later.
Venneri told Mr Gouillou he knew all about the subletting arrangement and produced screenshots of the bank transfers the woman had made.
Venneri then demanded Mr Gouillou and Mr Remilly put their hands on the table and not move, before threatening them and producing the cable ties and chained bike lock.
A scuffle then broke out, during which Venneri ripped Mr Remilly's jacket and "made contact' with Mr Gouillou's neck and shoulder, causing the latter to fall back into the chair.
Venneri then demanded Mr Gouillou's ID card before Mowad suggested that Venneri "get your other friend to come here".
To which Venneri said, "If you think I am bad, he is worse."
He picked up his phone and said, "Johnny, it's your time now." Court documents state the phone call was faked.
Frightened by what was transpiring, Mr Gouillou then transferred $6650 to Venneri, before he and Mr Remilly were told they could leave.
Later that evening, Venneri sent a text to Mowad, saying, "You're the man tony, cant believe i got the money."
Mowad responded, "Ha!! I'm so happy with the way it worked out for your buddy. The boys are going to think twice about what they do from this point on."
Venneri said, "Thats for sure, this has been a Quinton [sic] Tarantino moment for us to talk about in later years."
Mowad replied, "I am happy you tough with them straight away. It put them in a spin and floored them with fear."
Venneri said, "For sure mate, they feared you more than me! We make a good improve team thanks again."
That night, Mr Gouillou and Mr Remilly reported the incident to police.
Venneri was charged with intimidation, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. He also made a full admission to the police about the incident.
The following day, Mowad was charged with two counts of intimidation.
Mowad on Thursday also pleaded guilty to the intimidation charges.
Venneri's charge of detaining a person for advantage was withdrawn.
The matter returns to court for sentencing on March 5.
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