03 May 2017

Appeal leads to significant increase in sentence

The jail term imposed on a man for a violent, unprovoked attack on another man has been increased following an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

DPP John Champion S.C. appealed the initial County Court sentence of 23 months’ imprisonment, with an 18-month Community Correction Order, imposed on James Weber on the basis that it was manifestly inadequate.

Weber had pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally causing serious injury.

The Court heard Weber approached a man he had never previously met, who was taking a break from gardening outside his apartment building, and began abusing him for no apparent reason.

Weber left the area before later reappearing and without provocation or warning launched a vicious attack on the man, pinning him to the ground and punching and kicking the man to the head and body. The attack caused life-threatening injuries.

The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the Director’s appeal and increased the sentence to five years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years.

The Court described the attack as “wholly unprovoked, cowardly and brutal by an offender who had prior convictions involving violence”.

The Director welcomed the decision by the Court of Appeal and said “it is vitally important that our criminal justice system be seen to be responding appropriately to crimes of violence committed against members of our community”.

“This judgment helps to send a message that incidents of serious violence will not be tolerated and will be met with sentences designed – among other aims – to deter and reduce future violent offending,” Mr Champion said.

For further information contact:

Anthony Loncaric

03 9603 2603