Brothers sentenced for ‘heinous’ attack on US marines
TWO brothers have been sentenced to three months prison for a "heinous" and "repugnant" attack on a group of US Marines at a Palmerston restaurant, during which one of the men was punched repeatedly while pressed against the front counter, and the staff of the restaurant were forced to hide in the storeroom.
Jeffrey Ahwon, 23, and Jordan Scott, 30, appeared in Darwin Local Court via video link from prison on Monday where the court heard the graphic details of the attack that took place at the Bakewell Guzman y Gomez restaurant on Boxing Day last year.
The pair, as well as their other brother and co-offender Ashton Davey, 24, pleaded guilty last month to disorderly behaviour in a public place and engage in violent conduct.
Davey was given a two-month suspended jail sentence last month after the court heard that his involvement in the incident was less serious.
During the sentencing of Scott and Ahwon, Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris told the court about the "lengthy continuous violent act" which saw the trio verbally abuse and then physically assault a group of four US marines.
Ms Morris said that during the attack, Ahwon rushed one of the victims as he was getting into his car, punched one of the marines four times to the head and shoulder area while he was pressed against the front counter and only stopped the assault when he was tackled to the ground and restrained by a bystander.
The court heard that Scott punched one of the victims twice in the face and then missed when he tried to punch him a third time and punched someone else.
He also grabbed one of the victims, pulled him from the ground and threw him backwards onto the floor.
Nine patrons were required to flee the restaurant and the staff members had to stop cooking and seek refuge in the storeroom.
The court also heard that the restaurant had to close after the attack to clean up the mess.
Prosecutor Lajita Allan-Agnew said of the attack: "It's heinous, it's repugnant - it requires denunciation."
Ms Morris said she decided to sentence both Ahwon and Scott to five months' prison, suspended after three months, despite the fact that Ahwon has a prior conviction of manslaughter for his involvement in the bashing death of 39-year-old Rick Dermody in 2013.
"I see no reason to deal with you the same way as Mr Ahwon, even though his record is more serious than your record," she said.