Vigilantes condemned in court after home assault

TWO men armed with a machete and metal bar assaulted a Pialba man in his home, leaving a large gash on the back of his head in a case of vigilante justice, the Hervey Bay District Court heard yesterday.

Corey John Roberts, 23, pleaded guilty to wilful damage, assault and burglary and Michael John Stahtoures, 38, pleaded guilty to common assault and burglary.

The court heard Roberts went to the victim's home armed with a metal bar about 11.30pm on September 30 last year to confront him about allegations of interfering with the daughter of a woman known to them.

The victim has not been charged with any offences in relation to the allegations.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook said Roberts asked the victim to come outside and when he refused threw a brick through the window. When the complainant went outside, Roberts hit him with the bar.

Mr Cook said about 10.30pm the following evening a neighbour saw three men hiding in the bushes and when the victim and his brother came home, the men followed them inside.

Roberts was armed with a machete while Stahtoures was armed with a metal bar.

"While weapons were used, they were not used extensively," Mr Cook said.

Judge Helen Bowskill said vigilante-style justice was not tolerable.

"You have taken it upon yourself that you are judge, jury and executioner and that is unacceptable," she said.

The men were sentenced to three years in prison, with Roberts to serve six months prior to parole eligibility and Stahtoures to serve 12 months prior to parole eligibility.



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