Attackers' jail joke becomes real

TWO men who joked about whether they would receive Christmas presents in jail while catching a taxi to another man's house to beat him up, have been jailed for 10 months.

George Stanley Kirk and Benjamin James Irwin pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court yesterday to two counts of burglary with assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, one while in company.

Senior crown prosecutor Justin Whalley said 21-year-old Kirk and 23-year-old Irwin, aged 19 and 21 at the time of the incident, went to another man's house on December 12, 2003, after a heated phonecall between Kirk and the man.

Mr Whalley said the man armed himself with a small baton when Kirk and Irwin confronted him, but the pair set upon him, disarming him and hitting him over the head with the baton. They also assaulted another man in the house.

The attackers eventually left when the first victim ran to the kitchen and armed himself with a knife.

Kirk's defence lawyer Jeff Clarke argued Kirk had not gone to the house armed and he now realised he had over-reacted after drinking alcohol on the day in question.

Irwin's defence lawyer Tom Polley said Irwin had made considerable attempts to turn his life around since the offence.

Judge O'Brien described the crimes as "violent'' and "uncivilised.''

He sentenced the pair to three years jail for each offence, to be served concurrently and suspended after 10 months.



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