Pat Neville is angry; he has seen how an attack on one of his employees has affected the man and does not believe the punishment meted out to the two assailants fits the crime.
Mr Neville is the owner of Twofold Security and one of his guards, a 53-year-old man, was on duty outside Dulcie’s Cottage, Merimbula on July 23 when a fight broke out in which he intervened.
The guard was set upon when he tried to stop a brawl between three men but as a result he sustained a fractured eye socket, three broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Mr Neville said he did not believe that Gary Kramme, of Lakes Entrance, and Michael Richmond, of Toorloo Arm, who confessed to kicking and punching the guard in an alcohol-fuelled assault on July 23 should have got off so leniently.
Kramme and Richmond pushed the guard against a white picket fence, causing him to fall to the ground. He tried to cover himself with his arms as the Victorians repeatedly kicked him.
Kramme was fined $1000, Richmond fined $2000 and both handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
The guard is entitled to receive $1500 in victim compensation.
Mr Neville said it was a reckless assault and that the men should have been charged with grievous bodily harm. He believes there was a plea bargain.
“I would suggest that the more serious charge was dropped to get a charge. Sometime the legal system seems to favour the perpetrators. I think it’s a very light punishment on these blokes for the suffering undergone by my employee.
“This is totally incongruous with what I and the community expect. What have we got to do to get the courts in line with community thinking.
“I feel the frustration the police must go through. To come to a cut and dried crime where such injury is inflicted and I wonder then how they feel about such a weak sentence for such a horrific set of events,” Mr Neville said.
He said it happened on the pavement outside Dulcie’s. “He hadn’t done anything wrong, he acted as a good public spirited citizen, a good Samaritan.”
Mr Neville said that the guard has been badly affected by the experience, he had been repeatedly kicked while he was on the ground, and was still suffering from his injuries. Soon after the assault, he was taken to The Canberra Hospital for treatment by maxillofacial specialists.
“In terms of cost this event is getting up there; it must be around $60,000 and rising when you look at the cost in police, ambulance and medical workers’ time and the cost of medical treatment,” he said.
“It’s abhorrent that while the bills are still mounting they should get off on such a simple fine.”
Mr Neville feels so strongly, it is his intention to pursue the matter further and to investigate whether he is able to legally challenge the “seemingly lenient sentence”.
Police charged Kramme and Richmond with assaulting the guard. Appearing in court on August 23, the two men pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
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