Three men, including two sons of a prominent Melbourne barrister, have been sentenced to prison terms for a drunken attack on two men near the MCG after an AFL match.
But at least one of the men could still avoid prison after appealing his sentence and being granted bail.
Dominic Walker, Sam Walker and Benjamin Fitt all pleaded guilty to two counts each of intentionally causing injury in an attack after a Richmond vs Hawthorn match in September last year.
Dominic Walker was jailed for a year, Sam Walker was sentenced to six months and Benjamin Fitt was sentenced to four months.
However, after about 90 minutes in custody, Sam Walker’s lawyer launched an appeal against his sentence and successfully applied for his client to be released on bail.
The appeal will be heard in the County Court in February.
The Walker brothers are the sons of Tim Walker QC.
Attack has ‘ongoing impact’ on victims
Magistrate Duncan Reynolds said the “sustained attack”, which took about 45 seconds, happened just after midnight after “some sort of confrontation”.
The men lashed out in a “gross and unjustifiable” way towards the victims, he said.
Video showed the victims, Leonard Tricarico and David Raeside, being repeatedly kicked and punched as they lay on the ground in Wellington Parade.
Magistrate Reynolds said the victims, who were also drunk at the time, suffered “significant physical injuries” and the crime was having an “ongoing impact” on their lives.
He said he accepted the attackers were genuinely remorseful and a considerable number of character references suggested the bashing was an “aberration”.
Court hears mental health concerns
The court heard both Dominic Walker, 28, and Sam Walker, 25, had a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
Fitt, 28, experienced depressive mood disturbance and alcohol-related mood issues, the court heard.
Concerns were raised in court that Fitt’s mental health may deteriorate in jail.
The magistrate said all of the men had “conscientiously” taken part in treatment for their issues.
He said each participated to varying degrees in the assaults.
The courtroom was packed for the sentence.
Family and friends of the attackers cried and hugged each other, including Mr Walker QC, after the men were directed into the dock and through a door into custody.
Under the terms of a two-year community corrections order, each of the men will be supervised by Corrections on their release from jail.
When they are released, they all face a one-year ban on entering a licensed venue.