Teen thug jailed for assault

GETTING tough on Gympie’s young violent offenders, police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns called for Magistrate Maxine Baldwin to put a teenage “thug” behind bars for six months.

Jacob Hockey, 18, appeared in the Gympie Magistrates Court dock after serving three months in pre-sentence custody for assaulting a man and causing him bodily harm at a party last year.

Snr Const Manns said when Hockey committed the offence at Kia Ora Hall on October 23, it was just three days after he was placed on an intensive correction order and given two suspended sentences for attacking two brothers in Gympie and a third man who came to their aid on the night of June 27.

She asked for Hockey to be convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison with parole after serving six months and for his suspended sentences to be extended for 12 months

“The people of Gympie are entitled to feel safe to attend a party and not be assaulted. This is just another display of cowardly gratuitous violence (on a man) who was trying to leave, he was trying to get away,” she said.

The court heard the complainant was picking up a friend from a party at Kia Ora when Hockey accused him of calling his sister names and told him to leave. When he turned to go, Hockey punched him in the head three times and followed him to his car and punched him in the head three more times.

Snr Const Manns said the complainant was putting the keys in the ignition when he was punched the second time and drove off with the driver’s side door open to get away from Hockey.

“These actions are reprehensible. Not content with assaulting him in the hall, he followed him to the vehicle and attacked him,” she said and asked Mrs Baldwin not to be swayed by the defendant’s young age.

“He was given an opportunity to solve his issues and stay in the community and then three days later goes to a party and is involved in another unprovoked assault. The community should not have to tolerate this type of behaviour.

“A message needs to be sent that there will be serious consequences, especially for young offenders. Even though he is of a young age, prison is not a sentence of last resort if they are offences of violence.”

Defence lawyer Greg Wildie tendered a detailed psychological report and said Hockey needed treatment that he could not get in prison.

“Place him back in the arms of probation and parole. They now know what he needs to stay on the straight and narrow. He’s barely 18 and clocked up a fairly impressive (history) of violence but all involved alcohol,” he said.

Hockey was sentenced to 12 months prison with a parole release date of November 11 with pre-sentence custody taken as time served.

For breaching his suspended sentence and ICO he was re-sentenced to six months in prison and had a suspended sentence extended for 12 months.

Gympie Times

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