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Jail time for attack on staff at Booval Woolworths

AFTER refusing to open their bags at the checkout of Booval Woolworths, Nathan Dean Gillam and Timothy Byron Stelling were confronted by the store duty manager and a security guard.

At first they ignored the men who asked to see inside their bags. Then Gillam turned and punched the duty manager in the mouth.

The man fell to the ground and Gillam continued to punch him.

Stelling and the security guard turned to see the fight. The security guard moved to help the duty manager but was punched in the side of the head by Stelling.

Stelling continued to hit the man in the upper body before going to help Gillam attack the duty manager.

They bashed the man on the ground and Gillam kneed him in the head before they fled the shopping centre in a car.

The security guard suffered a concussion from the attack while the duty manager was left with a displaced nasal bone which, affected his breathing for more than six months.

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Stelling, 21, and Gillam, 21, pleaded guilty in the Ipswich District Court to causing grievous bodily harm.

Stelling also pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting the security guard. The court heard the pair had a history of committing violent offences together, having been convicted of a violent public nuisance offence in 2010. While Stelling had a more serious history of violent offences the court heard Gillam had repeatedly breached community-based court orders by re-offending.

Crown prosecutor Shelly Francis said the attack was a serious example of public violence.

"Shopping centre staff should be entitled to go about their jobs without fear of being assaulted," she said.

Defence lawyer Malcolm Harrison urged Judge Deborah Richards to keep Gillam out of jail on an intensive corrections order.

Despite this, Judge Bradley said the offence was serious enough that Gillam and Stelling needed to spend time behind bars.

Gillam was sentenced to 18 months prison, with a parole release date in March next year, while Stelling was sentenced to two years jail and will be released on parole in June next year.

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Topics:  grievous bodily harm, ipswich district court




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