Vigilantes avoid time in prison
TWO vigilante attackers have avoided jail after unleashing an “appalling” beating on a Glenorchy man they believed had committed a sex crime.
When police found the victim in April 2017, blood was trickling from his mouth and his false teeth were on the ground, the Supreme Court of Tasmania heard yesterday.
The victim had tried to defend himself with a hammer, but was left beaten, his head stomped and more than two years later still has a weak right arm, cannot pick up items with his left hand, and cannot wear his lower dentures because of damage to his lower jaw.
His pre-existing heart condition also worsened as a result of the attack. Armed with a tomahawk, Jhye John Webb, 35, led a group of four other men to the victim’s house after a woman said she had been indecently assaulted, with one of the group brandishing a metal implement.
Joshua Phillip John King, 37, was one of the group that carried out the “orchestrated attack”, forcing their way into the victim’s house, dragging him out and beating him. Acting Justice David Porter said another man had since been charged with indecently assaulting the woman, but he had pleaded not guilty and was undergoing court proceedings.
“This was an episode of vigilante justice and is to be condemned,” he said.
Webb pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, wounding and assault, just before his trial was due to begin, while King was found guilty of the same charges by a jury.
Acting Justice Porter sentenced Webb to a suspended 15-month jail sentence and an 18-month home detention order with a community correction order of one year. King received a 15-month home detention order and an 18-month community correction order.