An Australian court on Wednesday favoured release of two teenage brothers, who spent less than a year in youth detention for racially assaulting a group of Indians, even as it termed the attack which left one of the victims with permanent brain injuries as “extraordinarily grave“.
Victorian County Court judge Christine Thornton said that because the two, aged 17 and 18, were “children” she should indicate that they would not be locked up again for the December 2008 incident, according to AAP.
However, Ms. Thornton described the assault as “extraordinarily grave“.
The re-sentencing of the two boys, who served less than a year in youth detention, is set to take place shortly after Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) appealed against their sentences.
As per the appeal system, Ms. Thornton is required to re-sentence the duo, even if she does not increase their jail terms, the report said.
The two brothers carried out an unprovoked attack in an Indian convenience store in Sunshine, where eight men were injured, including one who spent 15 days in coma and was left with permanent brain injuries.
Chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert SC told the court that the older youth smashed 27-year old Sukhraj Singh with a piece of wood, leaving him unconscious and bleeding with multiple skull and face fractures.
Mr. Singh had been told his injuries were permanent and there was a chance he would suffer from epilepsy.
The younger brother is believed to have started the spat, asking the Indian men in the store if they were ‘Singh or Desi’, which the prosecution said was a racist remark.
Mr. Silbert said when the Indian men said they were “Singh boys”, he punched one of them without warning.
A group of four co-offenders, including his older brother, entered the store and caused mayhem, assaulting the victims and stealing a till containing several hundred dollars.
The assault was captured on CCTV and when the judge viewed it she said it was very serious attack.
The brothers were sentenced in the Children’s Court to 12 months in a youth detention, but were released early on parole.
The DPP asked the County Court to re-sentence the older brother to two and a half years and the younger to two years.
“There is a racial motive apparent in this,” Mr. Silbert told the court, adding “the culpability is relatively high.”
He also called the offence as “extraordinarily grave” and said “it was entirely unprovoked.”
“It was committed in company. It involved weapons,” Mr. Silbert said.
The DPP said that a 12-month sentence for the injuries caused were inadequate.
The offenders admitted charges of intentionally and recklessly causing serious injury and theft.