Friends bash man in Latham shop seeking vengeance for stolen drugs

Albert McKnight 24 June 2021

The assault victim sought refuge in a shop. Photo: Albert McKnight

Chased into a shop, an accused thief sought refuge from two pursuers seeking vengeance.

But none was to be found, and with the store’s owner telling the attackers to “just get him out of my shop”, he was dragged outside, partly by the hair, and brutally bashed.

Jamie Stewart Kinsela, 50, admitted his role in the attack when he appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday (23 June).

Dressed in a black suit and sporting a long, grey beard, he was asked how he pleaded to charges of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and theft, but could hardly be heard when he whispered “guilty” to each charge.

Court documents show in August 2020, Kinsela’s future victim broke into his home in Spence and stole 280 grams of cannabis and one litre of cannabis-infused vegetable glycerine containing THC.

Kinsela called the man’s landlord, as he and his victim knew each other, to tell them about the robbery and also visited them in person.

As a result, the victim was kicked out of his rental and started sleeping in a swag at an oval in Latham.


READ ALSO: After eight years, still hidden from view, whistleblower Witness K avoids jail


At about 9:00 am on 4 September 2020, Kinsela and his friend – who lived together – saw their victim at the oval and began chasing him.

The man ran into a shop and asked its owner to call police, but Kinsela’s friend arrived and allegedly began to assault the victim, including stomping on his chest and leg.

The owner told them both to leave, but the victim crawled behind the counter.

Outside, the owner saw Kinsela and asked him to call police but he refused, telling her the victim had robbed him.

“Well, just get him out of my shop. I don’t want any of this in my shop,” she told Kinsela.

Kinsela went in, knocked his victim to the ground and grabbed him by the shirt and hair to drag him outside while ignoring the man’s pleas for mercy.

Kinsela held his victim to the ground and struck him in the back of the head. He then stole his victim’s mobile phone.

As Kinsela held his victim by the shirt, his friend also allegedly assaulted him.


READ ALSO: Man allegedly wheels away $70,000 in cash from University of Canberra Supermarket


After the victim escaped, Kinsela yelled at him to “Get out of Canberra” before he and his friend drove away.

An ambulance arrived within minutes and the victim was taken to hospital. En route to hospital, his lung collapsed, requiring life-saving surgery.

He spent four days in the intensive care unit with other injuries, including rib fractures and a fractured ankle.

Kinsela has remained in jail since he was arrested on 5 September. Police have been unable to find his friend.

In court, prosecutor Sofia Janackovic said summary matters against Kinsela would be transferred from the Magistrates to the Supreme Court for sentencing as well but other charges would be dropped against him.

Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson said she would seek a sentencing date.


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