Deadly risk in assault: ‘People die under these circumstances’, says magistrate

A MAGISTRATE has labelled an assault by a group of men on a single victim in the Mildura CBD as extremely serious and a ­circumstance in which people sometimes died.

Berat Biyik, 18, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury and affray, while co-accused Haydar Hasan Donmez, 24, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of recklessly causing injury and affray before Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Last week Jusuf Mehicic was sentenced for his role in the December 15 assault and was fined $800 without conviction.

The court yesterday heard Biyik and the victim began pushing each other while at The Sandbar in Langtree Avenue, before the accused punched the victim twice.

As a result Biyik, Donmez and the victim were thrown out of the venue, with the two accused part of a group which then followed the victim to Lime Avenue.

About 3.10am, near Pizzeria Divina, ­Biyik and Donmez caught up with the victim, punching him three times in the head before he was held down and further assaulted.

The victim went to Mildura Base Hospital with black eyes, cuts and scratches.

In a police interview the pair admitted to the assault, Biyik claiming he was defending himself while Donmez said he had come to the aid of his younger cousin.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Raef Oliver said sentencing needed to deter that type of behaviour in the community, with concerns about the very serious effect drunken street assaults could have on a ­victim.

Magistrate Andrew McKenna said “while the offence may not seem like much at the time, it is extremely serious – it’s a terrible act by both of you to engage in such violence against one person”.

“People die in these circumstances and people like you end up in jail.”

He said given the pair’s good work record, youth, lack of criminal history and guilty pleas, they would avoid being placed on community corrections orders (CCO).

Biyik was fined $3000 while Donmez ­received a $2000 fine.

If not for their guilty pleas, Biyik would have received a CCO with 200 hours of ­unpaid work, and Donmez 150 hours, over 12 months.

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