2 October 2022

'You have a chance of not becoming a repeat offender': teen given corrections order for 'savage' assault

| Claire Fenwicke
Selfie of young man

Jamie Mitchell Barry, 18, has been sentenced to an intensive corrections order over an assault earlier this year. Photo: Facebook.

A teenager has avoided additional jail time for a “prolonged, violent and savage” assault in which his victim was knocked unconscious for more than a minute.

Jamie Mitchell Barry will instead serve his punishment in the community through an intensive corrections order (ICO).

He had previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, an act of indecency, intentional threat to kill, robbery and reprisal against a person involved in a legal proceeding.

The court had previously heard Barry repeatedly hit his victim in the face, body slammed him onto the bitumen and ultimately roundhouse kicked him in the head, which knocked him unconscious during an assault in Dunlop on 26 March 2022.

No help was given to the victim.

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Once the victim was conscious again, Barry simulated sexual intercourse against the victim’s buttocks while he was on his hands and knees.

He also forced the victim to strip naked and stole his mobile phone.

During the assault, Barry repeatedly threatened to kill his victim, including saying, “I’m gonna find ya and I’m gonna blow your brains out”.

The prosecution had previously described the assault as “prolonged, violent and savage”.

In handing down his judgement on Friday (30 September), Magistrate James Stewart outlined each aspect of Barry’s offending.

He described the act of indecency as a way to assert “sheer dominance over a significantly smaller victim”. He said it was a way of “demeaning and controlling the victim” rather than one for sexual satisfaction.

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Magistrate Stewart noted Barry had expressed “shame” over his behaviour but had also given varying accounts of what prompted him to attack his victim that night.

However, given Barry’s “immaturity”, Magistrate Stewart said it was “unsurprising” he had blamed alcohol, his friends and other circumstances “in an attempt to explain away the reality of his offending”.

He noted Barry’s early guilty plea was of utilitarian value to the court as it was “difficult to imagine a successful defence to the charges” as almost the entire assault had been captured on CCTV and his friends’ mobile phones.

However, it did mean the victim did not have to testify at a trial and saved the court time and costs, which afforded Barry some discount on his overall sentence.

Magistrate Stewart said while he had to consider the “extreme subjective seriousness” of the offences, Barry’s young age was also of “paramount consideration” when handing down his sentence.

“Rehabilitation must take precedence over punishment and deterrence,” he said.

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Ultimately Magistrate Stewart determined the best way to protect the community was to place Barry under an ICO so he could access programs and be under supervision.

However, he warned it was still a “significant sentence”.

“I genuinely think you have a chance of not becoming a repeat offender,” Magistrate Stewart told Barry.

“There’s no way you could have taken this chance if I had remanded you in custody.”

He told Barry if alcohol was the “root of [his] criminal behaviour”, he should not consume it in the future.

Under the ICO, Barry cannot consume alcohol or non-prescription drugs, would be under a curfew for 12 months, and be assessed for suitability to complete various anger management programs.

Magistrate Stewart told Barry if he breached any of the conditions, he would serve the rest of his sentence in prison.

The ICO will last three years and nine months, ending on 29 June 2026.

Barry had already served five months and 30 days in custody, which Magistrate Stewart noted spanned the “majority of his adult life”.

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