Jai Dylan Clarke, 19, has been jailed for a shopping centre attack.
Jai Dylan Clarke, 19, has been jailed for a shopping centre attack.

Shopping centre slasher’s regret over box-cutter brawl

A 19-year-old jailed for slicing open a girl's neck at a shopping centre says he is ashamed of the meth-fuelled attack.

Jai Dylan Clarke was on Monday sentenced to four years in jail with parole eligibility after 14 months for using a box-cutter knife to slash the 16-year-old's neck at Kawana Shopping World in June last year.

Photos of the girl with a 10-12cm gash from ear to chin were tendered to Maroochydore District Court which heard she had known Clarke for years.

"It's a very disturbing image indeed," Judge Richard Jones said.

"Surely it is open to consider that this young woman is going to have to bear that scar for a considerable period of time without medical intervention.

"The fact of that matter is, that it is a prominent scar that will be with that young woman as an ugly reminder for some time."

Jai Dylan Clarke left a girl with a gash to her neck after a fight at a shopping centre.
Jai Dylan Clarke left a girl with a gash to her neck after a fight at a shopping centre.

The court heard Clarke, the girl and another teenage boy had been "antagonising" each other on social media in the weeks leading up to the stabbing.

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They ran into each other at Kawana Shopping World on a Monday afternoon when Clarke was armed with the box-cutter.

"I'm going to f--- you up," Clarke told the other boy.

A fight broke out between the teenagers before the 16-year-old girl tried to intervene.

" … You swung and slashed the blade in such a way as to slice open her neck," Judge Jones said.

Clarke on Monday pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, assaults occasioning bodily harm while armed, and possessing a knife in a public place.

The maximum penalty for grievous bodily harm is 14 years in jail.

Jai Dylan Clarke.
Jai Dylan Clarke.

Clarke, who had no criminal history, spent eight months in pre-sentence custody.

His barrister Nathan Turner said Clarke had been working in jail and receiving counselling which included addressing anger issues and methamphetamine abuse.

In a letter to the court, Clarke described the attack as "a drug-fuelled, spur-of-the-moment irrational over-reaction" and he was deeply ashamed and embarrassed.

He said he would never return to committing crimes.

Mr Turner highlighted Clarke hadn't sliced the girl's neck deep enough to cut her underlying muscle but he said it was accepted the girl suffered a lifelong scar.

He said Clarke had a rough upbringing and experienced bullying and abuse.

"There was a series of unfortunate ongoing exchanges on social media where (the other teenage boy) had made a number of provocative and indeed a number of disgraceful racial comments and slurs against you," Judge Jones told Clarke.

"But it appears Mr Turner, your counsel, readily concedes this was a two-way street.

"That is, you were giving almost as good as you got."

Judge Jones said deterring Clarke and the public from similar assaults was a significant sentencing principal.

He considered that Clarke had been seriously assaulted about six months prior to the shopping centre incident.

Clarke's parents were in court on Monday when he was ordered to serve another six months in jail before he was eligible for parole.


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