A 25-year-old man who joined in on the iron bar bashing of another man while he waited at a Ballarat North bus stop, has been sentenced to time served and warned to stay off drugs.
Brendan Batchelor was sentenced on Thursday to 82 days' imprisonment, which was declared as time already served, and a two-year community correction order.
He pleaded guilty to seven charges, including assault, negligently dealing with proceeds of crime, criminal damage, possessing cannabis, unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered car.
The charges related to offending between September 21 and 24 in 2018, while Batchelor was using drugs.
On September 21, Batchelor was in possession of the victim's stolen vehicle when he drove it on a footpath at a bus stop on the corner of Lydiard and Howitt streets.
Hi co-accused, Alan Tauschke, was violently assaulting the 45-year-old victim with an iron bar when Batchelor punched him once as the victim lay on the ground.
The prosecution said Batchelor did not contribute to the victim's injuries, which included a fractured skull and wrist, which required surgery, and lacerations to his leg.
Batchelor was arrested three days later and placed in a Ballarat cell where he banged his head against the wall, causing some damage.
County Court Judge Paul Lacava told Batchelor at the sentencing hearing in Ballarat his offending was serious and should be seen in the context of his criminal history.
"I infer you have the tendency to join in with others to carry out acts of violence however, importantly from your point of view, you, having been born on March 12, 1994, you are now 25 approaching 26 and are still a relatively young man," Judge Lacava said.
"Importantly you have not re-offended with an act of violence since November 2014 save for this offending."
"You have a limited criminal history over the past three years including for some dishonesty offences and driving offences, the kind of offences inflicted with a drug habit.
"This offending occurred at a time when you were using drugs.
"This is serious offending and must be seen in the context of you prior convictions. The purpose of sentence is deterrence, both general and specific, and denunciation and I must also have regard to you rehabilitation."
The judge said Batchelor's prospects of rehabilitation were not good but he accepted "there is a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel and there's signs the only way to have a normal life is to stay off drugs and stay away from peers who lead you to drugs".
Judge Lacava said he took into account Batchelor's difficult background which included an alcoholic father and untreated ADHD because his mother did not want him to take medication.
Batchelor left school early and is illiterate, but has worked as a labourer and is pursuing a tiling apprenticeship, the court was told.
Judge Lacava told Batchelor he should consider himself lucky for avoiding more prison time but warned him not to re-offend while on the community correction order.
He said Batchelor pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial and he was entitled to a reduction of sentence. The judge said if Batchelor did not plead guilty, he would have received three years' imprisonment, with a minimum of two years before being eligible for parole.
As part of the community correction order, Batchelor must complete 150 hours of unpaid community work, be under supervision and engage in programs for treatment and rehabilitation for drugs and mental health and programs to reduce re-offending.
His mother supported him in court on Thursday.
Tauschke, 23, was jailed for five years in September for attacking the victim. He pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and theft of the victim's mobile phone and wallet.
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