Pretend pimp choked, robbed 64-year-old sex worker
A MAN who brutally bashed two sex workers and shot another man in a violent rampage in Hervey Bay will do less jail time after arguing he had mental health issues at the time.
Jason Ben Bowley, then aged 23, pretended to be a pimp working for "a boss" during the first assault, using a knife on the 45-year-old woman at her Scarness hotel room.
"I get girls to work for me," he said before dragging her around the room to find cash.
When she begged him to return $800, he punched her in the face.
Bowley went to another sex worker's room 12 days later and grabbed the 64-year-old woman's throat, pushed her to the ground and then held a towel against her face.
Both times he grabbed the sex worker's throat and robbed her.
Less than three weeks after he was released on bail for those offences, he demanded cash or marijuana after entering a home with a gun-like weapon.
The weapon went off and the victim found lead in his shoulder after he managed to escape.
Bowley was sentenced to eight years in jail, with parole release three years and three months after sentence.
He argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal that the Hervey Bay sentencing judge wrongly concluded he was on drugs at the time of the offences and did not give proper recognition to his mental condition.
A psychiatric report tendered at sentence detailed how Bowley had presented to Fraser Coast Mental Health Service a few months before the 2014 offences.
He had a long history of difficulty controlling anger and ongoing steroid abuse, and past admissions to acute psychiatric wards.
"During early 2014 Mr Bowley's amphetamines and steroid abuse escalated," the report read.
"When using drugs he felt powerful, as if he was living in a fantasy world. He saw himself as a big criminal and felt as if he was an actor in a movie about his own life."
Justice Peter Lyons, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, said Bowley was suffering from psychosis in the period leading up to his offending and it was evident on the first occasion he offended.
He said Bowley remained "grossly disturbed" well into his time in custody.
"The fact (Bowley) was both intoxicated by drugs at the time of commission of these offences, and suffering from a psychosis, does not mean that his mental state is to be excluded from consideration as a mitigating factor," he said.
"I am therefore of the opinion that the learned sentencing judge erred in failing to take into account the applicant's mental abnormality when determining the sentences. "
Because of that finding, the appeal court reduced the head sentence to seven years and altered the parole eligibility date to March 10, 2018.