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Bash someone unconscious – 80 hours community service???

By nazasaurus - 1 October 2014 21

The Canberra Times reports that a Canberra man who bashed and kicked a Civic reveller unconscious has been sentenced today to 80 hours community service work.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/community-service-for-civic-bashing-20140930-10o662.html#ixzz3Eng044bB

The footage is horrifying to watch and the sentence seems woefully inadequate. What interested me is the statement that the magistrate didn’t think jail was appropriate… so when is it appropriate ??

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Bash someone unconscious – 80 hours community service???
Antagonist 9:38 pm 02 Oct 14

miz said :

I too think there are lots of anomalies in sentencing.

Amen that! What did Peter Slipper get for $1000 fraud? Criminal conviction, 2 years good behaviour bond, 300 odd hours of community service … but beat somebody senseless and you get SFA.

Antagonist 9:06 pm 02 Oct 14

Jivrashia said :

Let me know when you get the full story.

The following two articles directly address your concerns. Perhaps try taking your own advice before rejoining the conversation:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-30/man-avoids-jail-time-after-vicious-attack-in-canberra/5780060?section=act

Of particular relevance is the clause “Magistrate Dingwell told the court Burnell had shown remorse because he pleaded guilty.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-26/civic-bash/5772330?section=act

Also note the meaning of “jocular”, which I quote directly from the dictionary: Humorous; Enjoying making people laugh. Note this definition in no way indicates an “understandable” response.

Tooks 7:18 pm 02 Oct 14

gazket said :

“At a sentencing hearing last week, defence lawyer, James Maher, said his client wanted to use his experience to teach young Canberrans.”

what experience would that be. How to try and use mental illness as an excuse for bashing people ?

80 community service and $125 fine . I expect the guy who got hit paid a lot more than $125 for medical bills.

jeez Judge Peter Dingwall hit him with a feather.

Given it was a common assault (ie. no significant injury), I doubt his medical bills would’ve amounted to much, if anything. It would be rare for anyone, unless they were a recidivist offender, to do any jail time for a common assault. The sentence seems light, but I wasn’t in the court room to hear all the evidence so I can’t say if it was appropriate or not. And neither can anyone here, really.

gazket 3:43 pm 02 Oct 14

“At a sentencing hearing last week, defence lawyer, James Maher, said his client wanted to use his experience to teach young Canberrans.”

what experience would that be. How to try and use mental illness as an excuse for bashing people ?

80 community service and $125 fine . I expect the guy who got hit paid a lot more than $125 for medical bills.

jeez Judge Peter Dingwall hit him with a feather.

fabforty 11:29 am 02 Oct 14

And what about his gutless mate who stood by watching and then high fived him ?

miz 10:00 am 02 Oct 14

I too think there are lots of anomalies in sentencing. I am regularly amazed at the leniency of sentences imposed for offences where another person is hurt, often with lifetime consequences (assault, sexual assault etc). I also think sentences for high level financial crime are often way too lenient compared to the sentences imposed for e.g. social security fraud. It seems to me that justice is significantly affected by how much one can afford to pay one’s egal representative. This should NOT be.

Jivrashia 9:07 am 02 Oct 14

Antagonist said :

his guilty plea shows he is remorseful

I don’t know what the judge said, but prosecutors accused him of not being remorseful.
But prosecutor Anthony Williamson pushed for Burnell to be jailed, saying he had shown no remorse and the crime had been in the “worst case scenario” for a common assault charge.

Antagonist said :

Huh? That somehow justifies Mr Burnell dishing out 11 heavy punches and a kick in the face to a guy who was not fighting back?

Were you the witness in the trial?
Also:
Magistrate Peter Dingwall said the jocular comment had been taken the wrong way by the offender, who reacted with a “disproportionate response”.

This is saying that a response from him was understandable, though it was disproportionate.
So what was he responding to?

Antagonist said :

The message is clear. The judiciary are not taking alcohol fuelled violence seriously.

I’m glad one of us knows the truth…

NO. Just NO.
The message is clear that each case should be dealt with separately without bias or prejudice.
Your opinion is drawn from these evidence:
– 12 blows to the victim
– Left unconscious in the middle of the road

Let me know when you get the full story.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:03 am 02 Oct 14

Jivrashia said :

What interested me is the statement that the magistrate didn’t think jail was appropriate

What interested me is what took place a few seconds prior to the camera finally focusing on the two.
Why does it appear as if the victim was following the perpetrator around?

And what was that?

HenryBG 9:01 am 02 Oct 14

Jivrashia said :

Why does it appear as if the victim was following the perpetrator around?

I don’t have a problem with “somebody following somebody around”. Maybe it could get annoying, and if it’s against the conditions of a DVO it might even be illegal and you should call the cops.

I have a massive problem with “somebody violently assaulting somebody” though. That is serious criminal behaviour and should result in gaol time.

HenryBG 8:59 am 02 Oct 14

magiccar9 said :

Disgusting is the only word I can muster for this. Purely disgusting. This perpetrator should be spending a significant amount of time behind bars – no question about it. How anyone can think otherwise is beyond me.

No argument whatsoever from me.

It was a vicious assault and a good stretch of gaol time should be mandatory for this kind of disgusting, violent behaviour.

Ben_Dover 7:41 am 02 Oct 14

“Burnell had asked the court for a non-conviction order, as a conviction would threaten his ability to pass the background check he needed to do youth work.”

Seriously, he actually thinks we want scum like him working with our kids?

Beam me up Scotty.

Ben_Dover 7:25 am 02 Oct 14

Typical Canberra “Justice”. Someone should give the magistrate a few good thumps, see if that wakes them up a bit to what it is like to be on the receiving end. I bet the perp does not do 80 hours, and has a legion of social work types rallying round to make everything ok for them.

magiccar9 7:31 pm 01 Oct 14

Disgusting is the only word I can muster for this. Purely disgusting. This perpetrator should be spending a significant amount of time behind bars – no question about it. How anyone can think otherwise is beyond me.

What’s more concerning is that this is the second criminal recently to say he has ambitions to work with our youth. The guy convicted of the callous act on the Irish tourist a while back has also been working as a youth worker. Why are we letting these criminals (convicted or otherwise) anywhere near our youth? A system – somewhere – is letting us down if violent individuals are able to influence our youngest, most vulnerable children. Regardless of whether or not they have “shown remorse and turned their life around” they shouldn’t be allowed to work anywhere near them.

Again, the law and judicial system is letting the community down in leaps and bounds. The local or federal government really needs to investigate why these crimes are going merely unpunished.

Antagonist 3:14 pm 01 Oct 14

What left me astounded is the magistrates suggestion that his guilty plea shows he is remorseful. It sounds to me like self-preservation in the face of indisputable CCTV footage. As was pointed out at the trial, Mr Burnell tried to minimise the kick by saying he ‘just threw his foot out’. Remorse my right buttock.

Jivrashia said :

What interested me is what took place a few seconds prior to the camera finally focusing on the two.
Why does it appear as if the victim was following the perpetrator around?

Huh? That somehow justifies Mr Burnell dishing out 11 heavy punches and a kick in the face to a guy who was not fighting back? And the ultimate dog-act of Mr Burnell leaving his victim laying unconscious on the road? And also explains Mr Burnell’s deliberate attempt to conceal his identity by putting on a beanie and pulling his hoodie up as he skulked away, while his mate stayed a few paces behind to watch his back? Or the same weak mate who helped keep the victim off balance – the same weak dog who can be seen looked for a high five when they were almost out of view of the CCTV footage?

The message is clear. The judiciary are not taking alcohol fuelled violence seriously. Less than 7 hours community service per hit is manifestly inadequate. This is another example of the judiciary being completely out of touch with reality and community expectations. I hope the DPP will be appealing.

Jivrashia 1:49 pm 01 Oct 14

What interested me is the statement that the magistrate didn’t think jail was appropriate

What interested me is what took place a few seconds prior to the camera finally focusing on the two.
Why does it appear as if the victim was following the perpetrator around?

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