7 May 2023

Motorbike-riding youths allegedly attack 'older gentleman' on street

| Albert McKnight
Coat of Arms on court building

Graeme Leslie George Herbert, 20, has been refused bail over an alleged assault. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It is alleged two young men were riding a motorbike in south Canberra before they assaulted an older man on the street, leaving him with a broken wrist.

Graeme Leslie George Herbert was allegedly driving the bike, accompanied by a co-defendant who was underage so cannot be named, in Oxley on the afternoon of 22 April 2023 when he drove around the complainant, court documents say.

Mr Herbert allegedly did a burnout before another boy, who was standing nearby, also started yelling at the complainant.

After the complainant tried to diffuse the situation, it is alleged Mr Herbert told him to go back to his house and yelled, “Imma fracture your whole face with one elbow motherf-r”.

He allegedly pushed the complainant backwards and lunged at him with his knee raised towards his groin.

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It is alleged that the co-defendant then punched the complainant in the head before he fell to the ground and landed on his hands.

He called the police and went to Canberra Hospital with a burst capillary behind an ear and a broken wrist, the documents claimed.

Both of the defendants were eventually arrested and Mr Herbert appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (5 May) where he applied for bail.

The 20-year-old’s lawyer, Ketinia McGowan from Legal Aid, said he lived in Belconnen with his older brother, potentially had a job in labouring and had the support of several family members who were in the courtroom.

She also argued that when it came to his charge of causing grievous bodily harm by joint commission, he was “not the main culprit” in the allegations.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston said the allegations appeared to be about “two young, fit men tackling an older gentleman” and noted how it was claimed that he had fallen down due to the attack, not just due to the punch to the head.

Prosecutor Hannah Mitchell, who opposed bail partly based on the alleged likelihood of reoffending, claimed the two defendants were young men while the complainant was considerably older and less physically able to defend himself.

She alleged it appeared there had been an ongoing conflict between Mr Herbert’s and the complainant’s families, which had now escalated into violence.

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Magistrate Theakston ultimately refused bail “very reluctantly”, saying it was regretful this had to be done for such a young person.

He said the allegations involved a violent and unnecessary confrontation that resulted in very serious injuries to the complainant and the concerns about the alleged risks from Mr Herbert being released were obvious on the material before him.

He was remanded in custody to 30 May.

“Love yas,” he called out to his family after being told he would be taken into custody.

His older brother said, “Oi, can I give my brother a hug real quick?” and when told no, he replied, “That’s s-t as”.

Mr Herbert did not enter pleas to his charges that included causing grievous bodily harm by joint commission, assault and making a threat to inflict grievous bodily harm.

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