Shepparton News

Man lured to vacant block before he was stabbed, court hears

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Two men lured another man to a vacant block in Shepparton and attacked him before one of the men stabbed him, a court has heard.

Rhykah Wilson, 31, formerly of Shepparton and now of St Kilda East, and Khale Scott, 31, from Mooroopna, both pleaded guilty in Shepparton County Court to intentiona­lly causing injury and a summary charge of committing an indictable offence while on bail.

Prosecutor Philip Teo told the court Wilson and Scott got a woman to drive them to a vacant block in Shepparton in the early hours of May 4, 2019, before getting the woman to go and pick up the victim from his nearby house and bring him to the vacant block.

Scott told the woman they intended to assault the victim and threatened to harm her if she did not assist them.

When the victim arrived, Wilson and Scott punched him repeatedly all over his body before Wilson stabbed him twice — once in the chest and once in the leg, Mr Teo said.

Wilson then followed the man back to his house about 400m away and threatened to kill him if he called police.

The victim was airlifted to Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he was treated for his wounds, which were about 3cm deep.

He also lost about a litre of blood in the incident.

Mr Teo told the court Wilson and the victim were “known to each other” and there had been recent “disputes and physical confrontat­ions” between the pair.

Both Wilson and Scott were on bail at the time of the offence.

The prosecutor told the court Wilson had done 540 days in prison as pre-sentence detention over the matter, while Scott spent 15 days in pre-sentence detention.

Wilson’s barrister Kate Ballard told the court her client and the victim had a number of disagreeme­nts and disputes before this night, including one where she said the victim physically assaulted her client.

Ms Ballard said Wilson had “rehabilita­ted himself” since he was released on Court Integrated Services Program bail last year.

Mr Teo told the court that in the case of Scott, the prosecutio­n conceded they could not prove Scott knew Wilson had the knife; however, he said Scott “assists and encourages” Wilson during the stabbing.

Scott’s barrister Anthony Pyne told the court of Scott’s childhood, which included moving interstate to escape violence by his father against his mother.

Mr Pyne told of how Scott had got his life on track now and was returning negative drug tests.

In sentencing the pair, Judge Marcus Dempsey noted Wilson had made “remarkable progress” since he was bailed in April 2021, and now had work and was not using drugs.

He also said Scott’s bail, with the assistance of the Court Integrated Services Program and Rumbalara, had “changed his life”.

However, Judge Dempsey said it was serious offending, labelling the conduct of both men “deplorable”.

“It’s a serious episode of unjustifia­ble violence,” he said.

“This was a terrifying episode.”

Judge Dempsey noted that if the matter had been dealt with by the courts closer to when it occurred, both men would have been sentenced to “long prison stints”.

“There is undeniable evidence of reform by both since then,” he said.

Wilson was sentenced to one year and five months in jail — reckoned as time already served — to be followed by a nine-month community correction­s order, which includes a mental health treatment condition.

Scott was sentenced to an 18-month community correction­s order, which includes 150 hours of community work.

Up to 30 hours Scott spends in programs to reduce his risk of re-offending can count as community work hours.

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