5 August 2021

Olympic-hopeful boxer who bashed strangers has 'manifestly inadequate' sentence dismissed

| Albert McKnight
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Lorenz Martin Salunga Daley

Lorenz Martin Salunga Daley approaches the ACT Courts to hear the result of the appeal against his sentence on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young boxer with Olympic potential had his hopes of getting away with an assault without a conviction dashed after he was resentenced following an appeal over bashing two strangers.

According to court documents, a man and a woman were sitting in their car in Gowrie on New Year’s Eve 2020 when the then-shirtless Lorenz Martin Salunga Daley walked up to their vehicle at about 9:00 pm and opened one of its front doors.

Seeing that Daley appeared confused, the man tried to reason with him and told him to go back inside his house.

But Daley ordered him out of the car, then rushed around to its other side, opened a door and tried to pull out the man’s partner by her arm.

The man got out of his seat and ran to help his partner by pushing Daley away, but the boxer turned to him, said, “Look at me, I’m a stallion”, and punched him three times in the face.

The woman got out of the car to try to push Daley away, but he punched her in the face, then also in the chest with enough force to knock her backwards.

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Daley’s mother and brother came out of a nearby house and began to yell at him as his two victims fled in their car.

When police arrived, he told them he had taken one tab of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and was having a “bad trip”.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault over the attack.

But when the case appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court in March 2021, Special Magistrate Jane Campbell dismissed the then-20-year-old’s charges without conviction.

The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed her decision, arguing in part that the sentences were “manifestly inadequate”.

On Wednesday (4 August), Justice John Burns upheld this appeal in the ACT Supreme Court.

He said character references described Daley as a talented and aspiring young boxer who had the potential to participate in future Olympic and Commonwealth games. The referees said he coached other young athletes for free.

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But his victims also gave statements, with the man saying that he and his partner were restless, afraid, anxious and angry after the attack, and he continued to worry about being attacked by strangers.

His partner said she now felt unsafe in her own neighbourhood, home and car. She said that during the attack, Daley kept talking about how good a fighter he was.

Justice Burns said Daley’s lawyers, from Kamy Saeedi Law, told Magistrate Campbell that while it was not certain a conviction for the assaults would prevent their client from achieving his ambitions in boxing and keeping his employment, there was an “unquantifiable risk” it may have some effect.

They suggested the magistrate could decide not to record a conviction, particularly after taking into account the fact that Daley was intoxicated by LSD.

Magistrate Campbell herself said a conviction would likely mean “considerable consequences” for Daley as he worked with children and had “a possibility of further travel and success with his boxing career”.

However, Justice Burns said having a conviction would impact the life of most offenders, and there had to be evidence of extraordinary consequences to justify a non-conviction order.

The attack had “significant and ongoing detrimental effects on the victims”, he said.

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He said one may sympathise with Magistrate Campbell’s “obvious concern” for fostering Daley’s rehabilitation, but there was no evidence his prospects of rehabilitation would be jeopardised by convictions.

“The offences committed by the respondent were serious offences of their type,” he said.

“The failure to record convictions in such cases erodes the deterrent effect that sentences for offences of violence should be expected to incorporate.

“There was no cogent basis for the magistrate to proceed without recording convictions.”

Justice Burns set aside the original sentence for Daley, recorded convictions for both of his assault charges and re-sentenced him to two 12-month good behaviour orders that started on Wednesday.

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