‘Chilling’ bus stop attack footage ‘hard to watch’

 

CHRISTIAN James Farrell booted a homeless man in the head while he lay unconscious and then stood over the victim and cackled, a court was told.

The unprovoked attack on the 43-year-old homeless man happened at a Helensvale bus stop about 4.30pm on October 25, 2019.

It was the second time Farrell, 21, had been before the court for common assault.

In 2018 he was sentenced for putting a stranger in a lock hold at Helensvale train station.

Details of last year's "cowardly" assault, which was filmed by a 15-year-old school student, were heard in Southport District Court on Monday where Farrell pleaded guilty to common assault.

 

Christian James Farrell, 21, leaves Southport Court with his mother (right) after being sentenced for assaulting a homeless man on October 25, 2019. Picture: JODIE CALLCOTT.
Christian James Farrell, 21, leaves Southport Court with his mother (right) after being sentenced for assaulting a homeless man on October 25, 2019. Picture: JODIE CALLCOTT.

The court was told Farrell was sitting next to the victim when a boy approached him and asked for his help.

The boy, who was unknown to Farrell, said the victim was being "weird and creepy".

Moments later, another youth, also unknown to Farrell, spear tackled the man into the ground and instantly knocked him out.

The court was told as the man lay unconscious, Farrell booted him to the left side of the head.

Outside of court Farrell's mother told reporters her son had apologised in a letter to his victim and was continuing to work with Farrell to keep the community safe.

"We are continuing to work with Christian so this never happens again, so the community is safe," she said.

"We will always say our prayers for the man who was injured and hope he has a full recovery both physically and emotionally."

Crown prosecutor Jessica Guy said the victim had no memory of the attack and was still unsure why he was targeted.

Ms Guy said when police showed the footage to the victim about five days after the attack, he told officers: "It's hard to watch and it gives me the chills".

She said the man was homeless for about a week and was supposed to start a new job at Supercheap Auto the day he was assaulted.

 

Christian James Farrell leaves the Southport Watchhouse last year, after assaulting a homeless man on October 25, 2019. Picture: EMILY HALLORAN.
Christian James Farrell leaves the Southport Watchhouse last year, after assaulting a homeless man on October 25, 2019. Picture: EMILY HALLORAN.

Judge Brian Devereaux told Farrell it was an extreme example of common assault, however he acknowledged the man's main injuries were caused by being spear tackled by the youth.

"You kicked him in the left side of the head and then walked away. But then you returned, laughing loudly, even while he was unconscious," Mr Devereaux said.

Defence barrister Nicholas McGhee said Farrell had misinterpreted the situation because he had limited insight and was prone to impulsive behaviour.

Mr McGhee presented a psychologist's report that stated Farrell had a severe intellectual impairment and suffered from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"This in my submission is not a premeditated action. It appeared to have been a spontaneous act in circumstances which occurred very quickly at a bus stop," Mr McGhee said.

Farrell was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 50 hours of community service.

A conviction was not recorded.

jodie.callcott@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as 'Chilling' bus stop attack footage 'hard to watch'


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