‘What for, brother?’: man pleads with housemate to stop alleged assault

Albert McKnight 18 March 2021
ACT Courts

Brendan Darryl Girdler is accused of assaulting his housemate. Photo: File.

A man was left with a broken nose after his housemate allegedly hit him multiple times in an unprovoked and “bizarre” attack.

Court documents show that in December last year, the man was outside his home making a call to his partner when his housemate, Brendan Darryl Girdler, approached him wearing only shorts.

Mr Girdler allegedly assaulted the man without warning, hitting him in the face, neck and torso while his alleged victim pleaded with him to stop, saying, “What for, brother?”


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When another person inside the house heard sounds of an alleged fight, he went outside and saw “blood everywhere”, including on the man and the patio floor.

Mr Girdler, a 25-year-old labourer, applied for bail for the second time in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (18 March) after previously pleading not guilty to a charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

His lawyer, Taden Kelliher, said his client had spent 88 days in custody and conversations were underway with the prosecution to see if it was possible to downgrade the charge to one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He said the alleged victim’s injury was a broken nose which he argued fell at the “very lower end” of objective seriousness, but prosecutor Juanita Zankin disagreed with his assessment, saying the alleged attack involved multiple punches to the face despite the man’s pleas to stop.


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Special Magistrate Jane Campbell described the alleged assault as “bizarre”, and it “clearly was a vicious attack on his flatmate”.

“It does concern me that it was an unprovoked attack,” she said.

Despite this, she granted bail on conditions that included Mr Girdler report to police three times a week and not go near the address where the alleged assault took place.

The matter has been adjourned to 30 March.


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