Shepparton News

Duo to face County Court


- By Monique Preston

Two men involved in a fight outside a Shepparton nightspot where a Shepparton man was knocked unconsciou­s after he was king hit will have to face the County Court.

Jim Velos, 21, and Shaquill Joachim, 19, appeared in Shepparton Magistrate­s’ Court on Tuesday, August 31, in an applicatio­n to have their matter heard in the Magistrate­s’ Court rather than the County Court.

Velos, of Shepparton, pleaded guilty to charges of recklessly causing serious injury, affray and common assault.

Joachim, of Mooroopna, pleaded guilty to charges of affray and common assault.

He also faces a summary charge of contraveni­ng a bail condition.

Office of Public Prosecutio­ns prosecutor Simon Tan told the court Velos and Joachim became agitated after the two victims — a 24-year-old Shepparton man and a 23-year-old Melbourne man — had a discussion with a third person they were with at a taxi rank outside the Victoria Hotel at 4.45 am on March 20 last year.

Mr Tan said Joachim and Velos pursued their victims for 22 m from where the talking started.

The court heard Joachim punched the Melbourne man three times in the head and he fell to the ground where Joachim again kicked him.

Mr Tan said in the meantime, Velos king hit the Shepparton man once and he fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete.

The court heard the man was knocked unconsciou­s in the attack.

Joachim then tried to stomp on the man’s head as he lay unconsciou­s, but was pulled back by another associate of his, Mr Tan said.

CCTV footage shows Joachim leaving in a taxi and Velos walking away.

The assaulted men were taken to GV Health, with the man who was king hit having to be airlifted to Royal Melbourne Hospital where he was put in an induced coma with injuries Mr Tan said had the potential to be lifethreat­ening.

The court heard when Velos was interviewe­d by police over the incident he “threw a hit because he saw another hit being thrown”.

“I went bang. He (the victim) fell,” Velos said in the interview.

Joachim told police he had heard an argument with the man who was with them and butted in.

The court heard that when questioned by police about attempting to stomp on the unconsciou­s man on the ground, Joachim said he “couldn’t remember” doing that.

Velos’s solicitor Laurence Waugh told the court Velos saw other punches being thrown and hit the man because he thought he was going to be hit.

While saying the offending was “stupid and dangerous” Mr Waugh argued that his client’s decision was made in a “splitsecon­d” and that he had shown remorse for it in his police interview.

Mr Waugh also said Velos was intoxicate­d at the time after drinking alcohol for 12 hours, but was not accustomed to drinking.

Representi­ng Joachim, solicitor Megan McKenna said her client’s primary charge was affray and more frequently than not this charge was dealt with in the Magistrate­s’ Court.

She told the court there was “no pre-planning” involved in the incident.

Mr Tan, however, opposed the matter remaining in the Magistrate­s’ Court, saying it was an “unprovoked attack” and the accused men had pursued the victims over 22 m.

He argued Joachim’s affray charges were elevated because he had attempted to stomp on the Shepparton victim’s head while he was unconsciou­s on the ground.

Magistrate Lance Martin refused the applicatio­n for the matter to be held in the Magistrate­s’ Court instead of the County Court.

“The alleged incident is all too typical of a pub brawl that takes place in the early hours of the morning,” Mr Martin said.

“It was an unprovoked attack. He (the victim) was not showing any aggression.”

Mr Martin rejected Mr Waugh’s suggestion that Velos was not experience­d at drinking alcohol and had “caught a flash of a punch being thrown”.

“That does not seem plausible in any way,” Mr Martin said.

The magistrate also rejected Joachim’s applicatio­n saying that his offending was “intrinsica­lly bound” with Velos’s.

The pair will face the County Court at a later date.

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