People are entitled to move around the city without running into “drunk, violent fools”, a magistrate said while sentencing a man who racially abused his victim before smacking him in the face.
It was about 1:30 am on 7 August 2021 when Liam Nizam Shahriar walked into the Supa 24 convenience store on Mort Street, Civic and asked a store clerk to sell him alcohol.
He was told no, so he called the clerk a racial term “that I don’t care to repeat”, Magistrate Louise Taylor said on Thursday (1 September).
The clerk asked him to stop using racial slurs and leave the store, but Shahriar continued to make the slurs and threw a flurry of punches at the victim.
One punch hit the victim on his nose, splitting it open and causing him to bleed.
Police arrived and found Shahriar to be intoxicated and have his own bruises because his victim had tried to defend himself by fighting back.
He pleaded guilty to assault, but this was not the first time he has found himself before the courts due to his violent behaviour.
Magistrate Taylor said he committed a similar assault on 15 November 2020, during which he punched that victim in the nose. He has already been sentenced to a good behaviour order (GBO) for that offence.
Shahriar’s lawyer, Jacob Robertson of JDR Law, told the ACT Magistrates Court his 21-year-old client had been undergoing counselling with Menslink, starting with his anger management issues and was now looking at how he drank to excess and lost impulse control.
He said the court could impose a sentence that allowed him to remain in the community and ensure his counselling continued, “rather than the doors of the AMC slamming behind him”.
Magistrate Taylor said he had to make changes in his life to avoid further offending because “he’ll seal his own destiny if he’s not able to get a hold of why he behaves the way he does when he’s got a belly full of grog and someone annoys him”.
“Alcohol-fuelled violence, particularly in public places, is something the community is simply fed up with,” she said.
She said there was no better way to protect the community from this kind of conduct than to prioritise rehabilitation and thought he had demonstrated a commitment to better himself through counselling.
Shahriar was convicted of the 2021 assault and sentenced to four months’ jail, fully suspended for a 12-month GBO, with conditions including that he continue counselling with Menslink.
He was fined $1000 for breaching the GBO of the 2020 assault.