News

'Mob mentality' fuels vicious racial attacks

A RACIALLY motivated attack on two men has been branded "mob mentality" as the leader of the gang faced sentencing at Ipswich District Court.

Vernon Absolom Ross Saylor, 25, assaulted a Korean man as he left the IGA Gatton in broad daylight with two other thugs in tow.

The court heard Saylor punched the 27-year-old repeatedly to the head and made fun of his eyes, before turning their attention to two Indian men leaving their car.

The Asians chased the trio into the park, but Saylor and his mates emerged shortly after armed with sticks.

Saylor smashed the victim's car, while his co-accused Robert Hicks, 22, jumped on the roof of the car and unleashed a "protracted smashing". The car was written off during the attack.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook said the assault was violent and thuggish.

"The attack was unprovoked with racial undertones in broad daylight," Mr Cook said. "It was mob mentality."

Saylor pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in company, wilful damage and public nuisance for the offences, which happened on October 1 last year.

He was sentenced to 18 months prison and released on immediate parole, and was also ordered to pay $500 to the victim.

Defence barrister Andrew West said CCTV security footage of the attack actually showed Saylor trying to pull one of his mates away from the victim.

Mr West said it was evident Saylor was trying to calm his mates down at some stages during the assault.

In August Hicks pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in company, wilful damage, public nuisance and consuming liquor in public.

He was sentenced to two years probation and will have to undergo alcohol counselling and testing for the duration.

"It was thuggish, violence behaviour in broad daylight," Judge Sarah Bradley said.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said Hicks had received a serious head injury in 2009 where he suffered bleeding to his brain and required 73 staples in his scalp.

Judge Sarah Bradley adjourned the case for medical documents to support the claim.

Investigations revealed Hicks had suffered a brain injury but was now a healthy man and was capable of living a normal life.

On May 26, Hicks led the Demons to their first victory since entering the Darling Downs AFL competition in 2010.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm ipswich district court



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