21 days for 3 violent attacks

A MAN who pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday to three separate attacks causing bodily harm was able to walk out with immediate parole.

Dean Ryan Johnston, 19, bashed three people in March, May and August, with two of these attacks being unprovoked, said police prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris.

In spite of this, Johnston was able to leave court in the company of his friends and family after a period of 21 days spent in pre-sentence custody was considered sufficient time behind bars for three charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, one of wilful damage, one breach of bail and one trespass charge.

Snr Const Grigoris asked for a term of imprisonment for Johnston, saying the offences in March and August were the most serious, being unprovoked attacks.

The incident in March was said to have occurred late at night near McDonalds, where a witness identified Johnston as part of a gang of four youths who bashed a lone man in a cowardly attack.

In August, Johnston decided to "walk up and king hit a 16-year old child" after a party in Scrub Hill "because he thought it would look cool", said Snr Const Grigoris.

The incident in May occurred near Doolong Rd in Kawungan as Johnston was part of a group which got involved in a dispute with another group, and Johnston struck a man in the eye.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell ordered Johnston pay a total of $1500 in compensation to the victims of his assaults, with each one to receive $500.

Mr Tatnell also ordered a nine-month prison sentence for the assaults; however he decided that the 21 days Johnston had already spent in custody was enough to allow immediate parole.

There were other periods of imprisonment ordered for the other offences such as breach of bail; but they did not affect the parole date. Johnston will pay $242 restitution for damage to a garden fence in Scarness in May.

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