California Gully man jailed for random attack

A CALIFORNIA Gully man who attacked a 61-year-old stranger, punching him several times and breaking his wrist, had drunk more than two dozen Jack Daniels cans and has no memory of the assault, a court has heard.

Jarrod Victor Stevens, 26, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday to assault charges stemming from the incident and was sentenced to 15 months jail.

He immediately appealed the sentence.

The court heard Stevens had started drinking with friends at 10am on February 23, last year, consuming at least 24 bourbon cans before heading to a function in the evening and drinking some “jager bombs”.

By 4.45am the next morning he was very drunk and decided to go for a walk after a fight with his girlfriend. 

That is when Stevens came across the victim on Forest Street, Bendigo, who had just returned home from work.

Prosecuting, Senior Constable Tony Graham said Stevens acted aggressively toward the victim, karate kicking, then repeatedly punching him to the head and kicking him when he fell to the ground.

Senior Constable Graham said the victim received a broken wrist in the attack, as well as damage to his ear, cuts and bruises.

Stevens’ lawyer Gary Quinn said his client had been so affected by alcohol he didn’t remember the assault.

Mr Quinn admitted Stevens had an extensive criminal history, influenced by significant alcohol abuse, but said he had just one prior for violence.

“He doesn’t have a history of violence, and he is not a violent person,” he said.

Magistrate Richard Wright said a victim impact statement from the 61-year-old man was a “damning indictment” of Stevens’ “unprovoked and unexpected” attack.

“You were affected by alcohol but we are responsible for our choices,” Mr Wright said.

“You chose to drink these jager bombs, so you have to take responsibility for your actions.

“I have to send a message to you and others.

“Citizens in this town have a right to go about their business without being beaten up by yourself and people like you.”

Mr Wright sentenced Stevens to one year and three months jail with a non parole period of seven months.

Stevens was released on appeal bail and will appeal his sentence in the Victorian County Court at a later date.

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