Duo faces court over ugly assault

ONE of the men facing charges over an early morning assault that left a man with severe facial injuries has pleaded guilty while another will contest the allegations.

Dylan Mitchell-Casey yesterday pleaded guilty and will face Mildura Magistrates’ Court again next week after magistrate Gregory McNamara adjourned the matter so a victim impact statement can be 


The assault, which happened about 3.45am on August 5 in the centre median strip of Deakin Avenue, left the victim – who had that night been celebrating his 36th birthday – with broken ribs and needing facial reconstructive surgery. 

The court heard Mitchell-Casey, co-accused Branden Sandiman and another man followed the victim and his friends along Deakin Avenue on foot from the CBD to The Centre Way, opposite Chaffey Secondary College.

Police had already intervened to prevent an altercation between the two groups earlier that night on Eighth Street.

The two groups clashed again as the co-accused approached the victim and his friends on Deakin Avenue and the altercation moved from the footpath to the centre median.

The victim was punched to the head and attempted to fight back, before being punched again, kicked to the head and jumped on, causing him to lose consciousness.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Kristen Simm said the victim was last week told he needed reconstructive surgery and that he would have ongoing complications with his nasal and sinus cavities.

Sandiman, who also made a brief appearance in court yesterday, will contest a charge of recklessly causing serious injury.

The court has previously heard the taekwondo blackbelt denies fly kicking the victim and maintains having had a lesser involvement in the fracas, admitting to punching him once before placing him in a recovery position on the ground.

Sandiman’s barrister Neil Howard indicated to Mr McNamara that his client would have pleaded guilty to an affray charge, however the prosecution was not willing to withdraw the more serious charge.

He has also disputed the prosecution’s version of the night’s events, denying he walked along Deakin Avenue with the other co-accused.

Sandiman’s involvement in the assault will be the subject of a contested hearing in April, which is expected to take five days.

As many as 11 witnesses could be called to give evidence at the hearing.

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