Man breaks nephew’s nose in ‘shocking’ and ‘deliberate’ attack
JAMES Fergus Victor Brown struggled to hold back tears as he was sentenced for his ’shocking’ and ‘physically painful’ assault on his little nephew which left him with a deviated septum.
The 34-year-old faced the Charleville District Court on October 7 on two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, as domestic violence offences.
Brown came to court on October 7 for assaulting his younger nephew, who was 20 at the time of the offence.
“He and the defendant had been living together but have had a falling out two weeks earlier,” Ms Soldi said.
Recounting the facts, Judge Catherine Muir said the offences occurred on July 2019 and that they were ‘serious offences’.
“You are 33 at the time and you now appear before me as a mature man, as a 34-year-old” Judge Muir said.
The court heard at 11.15am on July 11, the victim was parked at a Charleville location and Brown saw him there.
Brown got out of the car and started pointing and swearing at the victim and called him a ‘little dog.’
“You then grabbed the complainant with one hand, by the throat, pushed him up against the vehicle, seems for about 10 or 15 seconds, and you used your other hand to apply pressure to his neck,” Judge Muir said.
“This went on for about 30 seconds.
“But this pressure, thankfully, did not interfere with the complainants ability to breathe, but was sufficient to cause pain.
“Ultimately, the complainant was able to grab your hands off his neck and as he did this, you then headbutted the complainant.”
Brown’s headbutt broke the victim’s nose, wghich started bleeding heavily before he blacked out.
When the victim became conscious, he found himself wrestling and throwing fists between Brown.
Judge Muir described the incident as a “deliberate and determined assault” on his nephew.
“It was committed by you, on a family member, committed by you as a mature man with some background in violence,” she said.
Ms Soldi tendered images of the victim’s injuries to Judge Muir and explained that the victim’s nose that required surgery to fix.
She told the court that Brown participated in an interview with Charleville police, but “initially downplayed his criminality”.
“In my submission, your honour would have no hesitation in accepting that it would have been a shocking, and certainly physically painful experience for the complainant who was violently confronted by his uncle,” Ms Soldi said.
“And that, of course, would be seen in the context here where we have... an unprovoked episode of inherently dangerous violence carried out in a public place in the middle of the day.”
Ms Soldi submitted that Brown receive 18 months imprisonment.
“The community is coming to understand how prevalent and insidious domestic violence is,” Ms Soldi said.
“This is not what would be ordinarily categorised as domestic violence, but again, the community is knowing how many different forms that type of violence might take on.”
Counsel for defence barrister Phillip Hardcastle, appearing on behalf of solicitor Frank Jongkind, tendered a number of character references to Judge Muir.
Mr Hardcastle also told the court there had been some background to the incidents.
“He suffers from bipolar disorder - he was diagnosed two years ago,” Mr Hardcastle said, although he did not provide any medical evidence to the court.
“He also suffers from anxiety and major depression, and he’s been suffering from anxiety and depression for some ten years.”
Brown recently obtained a job with a Charleville IGA, after losing his hours at the Murweh Shire due to COVID.
Mr Hardcastle said that a friend of Brown’s has also got him to use heroin in the past.
“He’s kicked the drug habit, he says,” Mr Hardcastle said.
“My submission’s that 12 months [imprisonment] will be appropriate, maybe up to 18 months, but my real submission is 12 months is sufficient in relation to this matter, and that he should be placed on immediate parole so that he can get further help with his illness.”
Brown pleaded guilty to both charges.
Judge Muir took into account Brown’s early plea of guilty and saw it as an indication of his remorse.
“I don’t have a victim statement from him, but I don’t need one to conclude that this would have been a frightening and painful experience for him,” she said.
“I need to punish you to an extent and is just in all circumstances, providing conditions which I can consider for you to be rehabilitated.
“I do need to deter you and other people from committing similar offences.”
Brown sobbed as Judge Muir sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment with eligibility for immediate parole.