Man who bashed taxi driver behind bars after Bleijie appeals

QUEENSLAND Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has had a rare win in the state's highest court after he successfully appealed the sentence imposed on one of two men who were convicted of bashing a Hervey Bay taxi driver.

Nathan Edward Tulungi Levi, 20, and Steve Robert Drobny, 20, pleaded guilty in the Hervey Bay District Court in January this year to assaulting a taxi driver, 64, during the early hours of July 6, 2013, at Kawungan over a $7.90 fare.

Subsequently, Levy was jailed for 30 months but released on immediate parole and Drobny was sentenced to perform 150 hours of community service.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie appealed the sentences on the basis they were manifestly inadequate and did not reflect community expectations.

The Queensland Court of Appeal heard, during a hearing last month, Drobny initiated the assault, but Levy was the main aggressor in the unprovoked attack on the taxi driver.

The court heard Drobny tackled the driver to the ground then stepped away at which point Levy started to punch and kick the cabbie a number of times.

Levy continued to punch and kick the driver while he lay on the ground in the foetal position before both men fled.

The Queensland Court of Appeal, in handing down its decision on Tuesday, ruled that Levy should in fact serve time behind bars for his role in the late night attack, but dismissed the appeal lodged against Drobny.

The court ordered Levy's initial sentence be set aside and ordered he serve four months behind bars before being released on parole.

It also issued a warrant for his arrest.

Justice Philip Morrison said he believed the sentencing judge in Levy's case gave too little weight to the aspect of public deterrence irrespective of his youthfulness and prospects for rehabilitation.

"Cases of this sort often involve young men who are intoxicated and seemingly indifferent, at least at the time of their assault, to the consequences of what they are doing," he said.

"In many of the cases the assailants express remorse once they are sober and the consequences are known.

"Where serious violent offences are concerned, it is sometimes the case that youth and rehabilitation should not be the predominant factors." - APN Newsdesk.



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