9 August 2023

Footage of brutal assault shows victims beaten unconscious

| Albert McKnight
cctv footage of two men

One of the victims is confronted by an offender in this screenshot of footage tendered to the court. Image: Screenshot.

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains graphic footage.

Horrific videos show the brutal assault of two young men on Australia Day who were repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped on, including after they were unconscious.

The closed-circuit television footage shows the attack committed by William Juan David Rendall and David Samuel Hoyt in Garema Place in Civic.

Their victims were two brothers who were taken to hospital after the early morning assault on 26 January 2023.

The offenders were filmed dragging, punching and kicking their victims, then stomping on and punching them in the head when they were on the ground. They also dragged them along the ground and dropped them when they appeared to be unconscious.

Region has chosen not to show the entire footage due to its distressing nature.

Hoyt watched the footage while it was played to the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (9 August) during a sentencing hearing, but Rendall did not and stared straight ahead.

Prosecutor Luke Crocker said the total assault lasted for about two minutes, but the victims were on the ground and unconscious after about 50 seconds.

He argued the 29-year-old offenders were cowardly when they continued to assault the victims even though it must have been clear they were unconscious, then once they finished their assault they fled, even though it also must have been obvious that their victims needed medical attention.

It appeared they “beat their victims to a pulp” and then left them, he claimed.

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It had been submitted that the incident may have been sparked by a racial slur, but the prosecutor argued while it was accepted a comment had been made between the brothers and the offenders, there was no evidence of what had been said.

While Rendall initially told police he and Hoyt got involved in a fight after being racially abused, he later said he had no memory of the assault and a clinical psychologist said his version of the event was based on what he had seen from the CCTV and what Hoyt had told him.

two men outside court

William Juan David Rendall (right) had his bail continued and left the courthouse with his lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law (left). Photo: Albert McKnight.

Mr Crocker argued a remark of some kind had been made, and then the brothers and the offenders came together, Hoyt made the first push and a wrestle began before the assaults started.

The offenders each pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and the prosecutor argued this incident could be considered as being among the worst cases for such offences.

Rendall’s lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law, said his client had mental health struggles and he submitted there had been a loss of control during the incident.

Mr Kukulies-Smith said when his client joined in he had perceived that Hoyt was in a “two-on-one” fight with the victims.

He argued it was also his client’s understanding there had been some racial taunting, which perhaps led to “triggering”.

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Tim Sharman of Tim Sharman Solicitors, representing Hoyt, argued there was a clear point when the fight between the victims and offenders degenerated into a vicious assault that reflected a loss of control.

He also argued while Hoyt did not know what was said, a comment had generated the incident.

man outside court

David Samuel Hoyt, who is not on bail, pleaded guilty to the assault. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Both defence lawyers asked for their clients to be sentenced to intensive corrections orders that would allow them to remain in the community, but the prosecutor opposed this and argued full-time jail sentences were required.

Special Magistrate Rebecca Christensen will sentence the offenders on 1 September.

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