No jail despite "gratuitous violence on innocent people"

A MAN has avoided time behind bars despite taking part in what a magistrate called "serious examples of gratuitous violence on innocent people".

Matthew Phillip Hayes, 22, pleaded guilty yesterday at the Ipswich Magistrates Court to trespass, burglary and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.

On December 30, 2012, a family barbecue was being held in a backyard in Brassall. About 6.30pm Hayes arrived at the neighbouring property and got into an argument.

He and another person then jumped the fence to where the barbecue was being held and confronted the people there.

Hayes was told to leave, but instead attacked a man there, whom he'd never met. When the man fought back and started to get the better of Hayes, his friend grabbed the man and Hayes again started hitting him.

Another man at the party then came to help the victim before Hayes called him a "pedo" and punched him in the face. Hayes and his friend had left before the police arrived.

In March last year, a Lowood man was showering when he heard a voice calling out, threatening him. He found Hayes, whom he'd never met, at his door threatening him. Hayes then burst inside and punched the man repeatedly. A woman with Hayes then came in and told him the man wasn't who they were looking for and they eventually left.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Hayes's actions were a "serious examples of gratuitous violence on innocent people".

She sentenced him 15 months prison, with an immediate release on parole, to pay $500 compensation to each of the victims of the backyard attack, and $750 compensation to the victim of the Lowood house invasion.


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