TWO drunken young hoons who launched a “disgraceful attack” on two defenceless old men in Mildura in October last year have been jailed.
The Country Court sitting in Melbourne was told that Dallin Roberg and Jacob Grant had spent a night out on the town before assaulting the brothers – aged 77 and 81 – at their Seventh Street home in the early hours of Sunday, October 1, 2017.
The court was told Roberg and Grant, who were aged 18 and 20 respectively at the time of the offending, met while shopping for clothes the previous day and attended a party together that night.
The pair had purchased a significant amount of alcohol for the party and took some bottles of Corona beer with them when they were dropped off at Mildura’s CBD to attend local nightclubs.
About 1am, the pair attended the Caltex service station to buy cigarettes but it was closed and they walked off towards the victims’ Seventh Street address.
Upon arrival, Roberg kicked the side of the tin fence several times before he and Grant moved to the front of the house.
When Roberg began damaging the letterbox at the front of the property, the 77-year-old resident went outside to investigate.
The court was told the elderly man tried to move the men on, using hand gestures to try to get them to move because an earlier stroke had rendered him speechless.
The victim also sprayed Roberg with a garden hose to try to stop him harassing him and damaging his property.
Both Roberg and Grant then jumped the front fence and began assaulting the 77-yearold by punching his face and head.
The victim’s 81-year-old brother came out of the house to see his younger brother lying on the ground being assaulted.
When he tried to intervene he was struck, causing him to fall to the ground.
The court was told that while the 77-year-old victim subsequently died following the assault, it was not alleged to have been as a result of the offending.
He suffered facial fractures, including to both eye sockets and a skull fracture from the attack, while his older brother sustained bruising to his eyes, nose and cheek area.
In sentencing, Judge John Smallwood said elderly people were afraid living by themselves, afraid of being attacked by younger, stronger men and very conscious of their inability to defend themselves.
“It is a common fear and conduct such as this simply entrenches it,” Judge Smallwood said.
The court was told Roberg had a significant intellectual disability, while Grant was “indeed remorseful and … totally ashamed” of himself.
On charges of recklessly causing serious injury and recklessly causing injury, Roberg was sentenced to an aggregate 606 days in jail, already served, and a two-year community corrections order including treatment and rehabilitation for drugs and alcohol.
Grant was sentenced in March this year to three years and three months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 21 months. He had already served 523 days in custody.
This story appears in Friday's Sunraysia Daily, 14/6/2019. To subscribe to our Digital Edition, click here