Brothers jailed for bashing a man to death at Christmas

CHRISTMAS Day in 2012 for two brothers started out as being nothing out of the ordinary - it involved family, friends and drinking. But that night, someone ended up dead.

Brothers Anthony David Joseph Phillips, 29, and Douglas Allan Phillips, 25, will be in jail for at least the next six years for their involvement in the bashing death of a man at Morayfield, who they claimed had assaulted one of their relatives.

The Phillips brothers are two of four men who have been convicted of the manslaughter of 43-year-old Robert "Jessie” Jordan.

All four men originally pleaded not guilty to murder and a jury found them guilty of manslaughter last year.

Justice Jean Dalton, who sentenced the Phillips men at Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday morning, said the brothers were celebrating Christmas with three other men and had been drinking a lot of alcohol.

She also said Douglas Phillips had been out of jail for only two weeks at the time, after serving a five year sentence.

At some point during Christmas Day, the men started discussing how Mr Jordan had allegedly assaulted a relative and by 7pm the two Phillips brothers and other men had formed a plan to find Mr Jordan and assault him to "teach him a lesson”.

They drove to two houses looking for Mr Jordan and found him at about 9pm.

The Phillips brothers went inside and invited him to go with them into the front yard where he was immediately assaulted by the brothers and two other men - Dallas Glenn Kincaid Dean and Michael Robert Selmes - while a fifth man waited by the car.

Mr Jordan was punched, kicked and stomped on and was left lying on the ground, still alive.

Justice Dalton said the men stopped attacking Mr Jordan while he was still alive but said the attack was "very savage” and "brutal”.

Justice Dalton said Anthony Phillips played a leadership role in the attack and that he had lied to police and fled from officers in a dramatic car chase.

During the sentencing proceedings that began last week, Anthony Phillips and his lawyers submitted a letter to Justice Dalton including an apology and expressing a desire to not hurt anyone again.

But Justice Dalton said his prison record revealed declining behaviour in the past year, including threats to officers and a "major disturbance” incident that landed him in maximum security earlier this month.

Justice Dalton said Anthony Phillips had set fire to a sheet and placed it at a door during the prison incident.

Anthony Phillips was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

When sentencing Douglas Phillips, Justice Dalton said the younger brother had hardly spent any time out of jail as an adult.

Justice Dalton said Douglas Phillips was young at the time of the bashing - 22 years old - and that while he did not have as much of a leadership role in the killing, he was a participant.

He was sentenced to 121/2 years in jail.

Family of Anthony and Douglas Phillips were also at court for the sentencing on Monday, including children.

At one point Justice Dalton asked one of the children to leave because of the noise they were making.

"I'm sorry, the kids can't stay in here if they're going to make a noise,” she said. "I can't keep concentrating to talk with those interruptions”.

"They're here for us, it's our family,” one of the Phillips brothers replied.

Taking into account time they have already served behind bars since they were arrested in December 2012, Anthony Phillips will be eligible for parole in 2023 and Douglas Phillips will be eligible for parole in 2022.


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