Teen in court on alleged assault

A SUNSHINE Coast teen recently jailed for his involvement in the group bashing of a 26-year-old man with a machete and a stick, causing multiple skull fractures, fronted court again yesterday in relation to an alleged attack on a Gympie shopkeeper.

Rhys Jacob Batten, 18, was jailed for six months after pleading guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court to assault causing bodily harm in company and common assault while on bail.

He was given a parole release date next month but he will not be released until November when he has served seven months for the machete attack.

Police prosecutor Rick Pallister said Rhys and his older brother Samuel, who is expected to face Gympie District Court in coming months, picked up hair clippers in the Gympie Army Disposals store at 4pm on February 21 and Samuel allegedly started snipping hair on a forearm.

He said the store owner yelled at them and told them to leave.

Senior Constable Pallister said Samuel allegedly told the owner they were going to get a gun and shoot him.

He said the owner confronted them further and Samuel allegedly rode a bike at him and then punched him.

Snr Const Pallister said Rhys tried to kick the owner in the head, and kicked him in the ribs, while the other two were wrestling on the ground.

The shop owner allegedly ended up with a gash to his nose which needed stitches.

Rhys also allegedly assaulted a man who tried to stop the fight which sparked numerous 000 calls to police.

Solicitor Chelsea Emery said her client did not instigate the attack on the shopkeeper but accepts he behaved badly in helping his brother.

“He went to his aid and went too far out of some misguided loyalty to his brother,” she said.

Gympie Times

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