Youth in violent attacks goes free
A 17-YEAR-OLD involved in bashing two "complete strangers", including a 67-year-old man walking home from the Nambour RSL, was given nine months' detention yesterday.
But the teenager, who cannot be named because he was 16 at the time, was released on an intensive rehabilitation program for juveniles and given two years' probation.
Crown prosecutor Lily Brisick said the assaults involved "unprovoked gratuitous violence" in company in public places.
Ms Brisick said the two "horrifically violent offences" were followed by another bashing in April this year when the teenager and his friends tried to gatecrash a party and attacked the host.
But Ms Brisick said the youth copped a return hit with a baseball bat in retaliation.
Barrister David James said his client had worked hard to rehabilitate and it was difficult to reconcile that young man with the one attacking innocent people in the street.
Judge John Robertson detailed how the teenager's co-accused, Luke Crews, who has already been sentenced, attacked the 67-year-old man in March last year.
Judge Robertson said that while the man was on the ground trying to defend himself, the accused teenager kicked him several times in the head and the body before being restrained by other people in the group.
Judge Robertson said the man suffered two black eyes, a bruised face, fractured ribs, a fractured eye socket and a collapsed lung.
"The photos of him in hospital are shocking," he said.
During a second assault at Nambour train station in October last year, the teenager and his 17-year-old friend verbally and physically attacked a 16-year-old boy for no reason.
Judge Robertson described the attack as "persistent", even when the child tried to escape. It involved head butts and punches.
He said the victim had cuts and grazes to his lip, mouth and chest as well as suffering a swollen nose, bruising and swelling to his face and head.
Judge Robertson said the teenager had an "appalling upbringing" involving neglect and exposure to verbal and physical violence.
"When you're in company and when you've been drinking you can become explosively dangerous," he said.
"I've never seen any situation where violence solves problems on an individual or a societal level.
"(But) I think there's real hope you're on the road to rehabilitation."