Man 'hunts down', punches and kicks defenceless girl
A CHERBOURG man chased after a 16-year-old girl, punched her and kicked her twice in the head, while she was curled up on the ground.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens told Murri Court on Wednesday, December 12, that Michael Keith Aubrey "hunted down" the teen girl.
"A young child aged 16 was approached by this defendant, hunted down, and then assaulted," he said.
"The child had attempted to get to the safety of her auntie's house and was assaulted at the front stairs.
"It was a young child, she was vulnerable, she was in a foetal position. She was offering no resistance and Aubrey did what he did."
The court heard as one of 19 children, violence had been part of Michael Keith Aubrey's life from a young age and Magistrate Louisa Pink took this into account when sentencing the defendant.
"Your cultural report that was provided states that as a child you were exposed to systematic domestic violence from your father, often getting drunk and physically abusing your mother," she said.
In sentencing Aubrey Ms Pink referred to the High Court of Australia case of Bugmy V the Queen, 2013.
"Abuse of alcohol and alcohol fuelled violence is endemic in some Aboriginal communities and the circumstances that the defendant has been raised in a community surrounded with alcohol abuse and violence may mitigate the sentence because his modelling cognitive ability is likely to be less than the cognitive ability of an offender whose formative years have not been marred in that way," she said.
Aubrey's lawyer told the court he followed the girl because he thought she had broken into his vehicle the night before.
"It didn't justify what he did, it is not a mitigated circumstance, but it somewhat explains the reason why he acted the way he did," the lawyer said.
Because he was 20 at the time of the offence, Aubrey is considered by the court as a youthful offender and as having strong prospects of rehabilitation.
"I want to cut out drinking and violence and I regret everything I have done in my life to do with violence," Aubrey said.
Ms Pink took into account reports from service providers that Aubrey had made good progress in rehabilitation.
In particular he was learning to manage his alcohol consumption and he had registered to do training in aged care.
"At some stage you will need to think to yourself what happens when you do drink and if you want to run that risk," Ms Pink said.
"This is the sort of thing that happens when you drink and you know that you expose yourself to imprisonment.
"It was a 16-year-old girl that you believed had done something wrong so you took the law into your own hands and you chased her.
"When you slung her to the ground she has curled up and is defenceless against someone your size
"I think that this is a long-term journey for you and it involves alcohol and anger management and therefore I think it is appropriate to impose a probation order, having regard to the seriousness of the assault against a defenceless child."
Aubrey was placed on a 12-month probation order and a conviction for common assault was recorded.