Colander-wearing Chewbacca jailed for ‘vicious, brutal’ Thredbo assault

A western Sydney man who bludgeoned a ski resort manager while dressed as Chewbacca has refused to apologise to his victim before being jailed for the “vicious” assault.

Keith Melvyn Wass, 54, stood in the dock of the NSW District Court wearing a white and red colander on his head as he was jailed for at least one year and four months.

Wass brutally beat Kosciuszko Thredbo general manager Jordan Rodgers during the bizarre assault at Thredbo Resort in 2017.

He pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm but when he arrived at court, he continued to refuse to apologise to his victim and made outlandish claims.

Asked outside court if he had any apologies for Mr Rodgers, Wass said: “No, I really struggle with that given he knew I was there as part of my treatment plan recommended as crucial for my general rehabilitation”.

The Blaxland man, who subscribes to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, went on to claim that he was a victim of religious discrimination by the resort.

Colander-wearing Chewbacca jailed for ‘vicious, brutal’ Thredbo assault

Camera IconKeith Wass sports a colander on his head outside Darlinghurst District Court on Friday. Pictured: Derrick Krusche. Credit: Supplied

The court has previously heard Wass wears a colander on his head as part of his Pastafarian beliefs.

The August 12, 2017 stoush began after the resort received two complaints via email from concerned parents about Wass’ behaviour because he was seen on the ski fields wearing a Chewbacca costume.

A heated argument broke out when Mr Rodgers told Wass: “We’ve had complaints that kids are getting scared”.

“Hey I’m just Chewbacca,” Wass said, according to an agreed statement of facts.

During sentencing submissions on Friday, his barrister Peter Pearsall told Judge Garry Neilson there had been no complaints from children, adding that one of the emails had in fact said that children wanted their pictures taken with Wass in his Star Wars outfit.

“You’re seeking to justify what you client did,” Judge Nielsen said.

“What I’m seeking to do is correct the factual basis of the crown submissions and secondly to explain to your honour the basis of the offender’s reaction,” Mr Pearsall said.

“His criminal reaction,”Judge Nielsen said.

Mr Pearsall added there was no justification for Wass’s behaviour.

When Wass was told his pass was being revoked, he picked up his snowboard, hitting Mr Rodgers on the jaw.

Mr Rodgers collapsed to the ground before Wass stood over him and continued to rain blows with the end of his board.

Three bystanders had to drag Wass off his victim.

Judge Neilson said that while waiting for police to arrive, Wass told another Thredbo worker: “I just decked Jordan and it made me feel so good, and I hit him with my snowboard as well. I would have kept going too.”

Mr Rodgers suffered extensive facial injuries, including a severe laceration near the right corner of his mouth and three broken teeth.

He had to undergo surgery to dislodge teeth fragments, which had become lodged in his cheek.

The court heard that in a victim impact statement, Mr Rodgers said he had no memory of the assault but suffered anxiety every time he saw anything associated with the Star Wars movies.

“I’m forever changed by the assault,” Mr Rodgers said.

Colander-wearing Chewbacca jailed for ‘vicious, brutal’ Thredbo assault

Camera IconJordan Rodgers suffered extensive facial injuries in the assault by Keith Wass. Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Colander-wearing Chewbacca jailed for ‘vicious, brutal’ Thredbo assault

Camera IconJordan Rodgers’ injuries after he was assaulted by Keith Wass. Supplied. Credit: News Corp Australia

Judge Neilson described the assault as “vicious and brutal”, and noted Mr Rodgers could suffer lifelong dental issues.

“The event cannot be justified by the words exchanged prior to the incident,” Judge Neilson said.

“Nothing justifies the infliction of violence.”

He noted that were it not for bystanders, Wass would have continued to assault his victim.

Wass was jailed for two years and four months, with a non-parole period of one year and four months, and continued to wear the colander on his head as he was led away by Correctives Services officers.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Olivia Simmons unable to defend lawsuit over sex abuse claim against half-brother Sean Tribe, court hears

The sister of NBA star Ben Simmons cannot defend the sexual abuse allegations she made against her half-brother Sean Tribe due to her three-year-old daughter’s brain surgery and her own ... Read more »

Labor refuses to criticise Queensland's AZ hesitancy despite ‘severe outbreak'

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has refused to weigh in on criticism of Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young for repeatedly discouraging the use of AstraZeneca despite her state’s ongoing battle ... Read more »

Queensland Police issue 70 fines, 21 arrests for lockdown breaches

More Queenslanders have been fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in the past 24 hours than on any other day since the pandemic began last year. Health authorities and police have ... Read more »

Crown Resorts boss Xavier Walsh resigns

The boss of the embattled Crown Melbourne, Xavier Walsh, will step down by the end of this month, the casino giant has confirmed. Mr Walsh was appointed CEO in December ... Read more »

Tokyo Olympics: Australian swimmers touch down on home soil with Dolphins set for quarantine stint

The Olympic champions of Australia’s swimming team have arrived back on home soil, set for 14 days quarantine at Howard Springs after a whirlwind campaign in Tokyo. The Dolphins touched ... Read more »

Telstra makes calls on public pay phones free under new initiative

Australians will now be able to make phone calls for free on public pay phones across the country. Telstra announced on Tuesday that standard national calls and SMS from the ... Read more »

Labor's $300 vaccine payment slammed by Finance Minister Simon Birmingham

Labor’s $300 vaccine payment idea has been slammed by Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, who has labelled it as “unnecessary and unlikely to work”. Under Labor leader Anthony Albanese's plan, every ... Read more »

Doctors sue Western Health as part of underpayment class action

Dozens of junior doctors have joined a new class action against a Victorian public hospital service amid claims the industry is understaffed, underpaid and patients’ lives are being put at ... Read more »

Elite soldier Ian Turner died by suicide shortly after doctors ordered he be watched: inquest

A special forces soldier who developed PTSD across multiple traumatic tours in Afghanistan was alone the weekend he took his own life, despite having been placed on effective suicide watch ... Read more »

Ultra Tune legal battle: judge laments ‘mudslinging' in court

A judge presiding over a legal battle between an Ultra Tune magnate and his glamorous ex-girlfriend has lamented “mudslinging” in the court stoush over secret recordings. Ultra Tune boss Sean ... Read more »

YouTuber Marcus Dibble's sick communications with teen revealed in court

A YouTube comedian and nude model photographer who groomed an underage girl for sex has escaped being sent to jail. Marcus Dibble was on Tuesday sentenced in Melbourne Magistrates Court ... Read more »

Reasons behind cardiologist's child exploitation offending unveiled: court

Mental health issues and “escapism” from personal and work stressors were the reasons a South Australian cardiologist was found with child exploitation material on his mobile phone, a court has ... Read more »

Sydney's COVID-19 lockdown was ‘last straw' for late Home and Away heart-throb Dieter Brummer

A close friend of late Home and Away star Dieter Brummer claims the latest Sydney lockdown was the “last straw” for the star. The former Home and Away heartthrob — ... Read more »

Judge slams Liam Casley's ‘low act' while tradie bleeding out

The loved ones of a tradie killed as he was walking to the beach with his girlfriend have shared their heartbreak with a court. The Supreme Court of Victoria on ... Read more »

Father jailed for raping his biological son and daughter in Qld

WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS A Queensland father who raped his two young children multiple times did so while his now ex-wife was at work or had gone to bed, a court ... Read more »

Qld coroner's court receives report from police on death of Deklan Babington-MacDonald

A Queensland coroner will determine whether a theme park toy involved in the tragic death of a six-year-old boy can be returned to shelves. Gold Coast boy Deklan Babington-MacDonald died ... Read more »

Sydney men appeal sentences for plot to fund Islamic State

A Sydney man who was jailed for planning to behead a stranger still won’t stand for a judge despite claiming he has renounced his extremist views, a court has heard. ... Read more »

Australia's Pupnaps grows into $1m a month dog bed business

Two close mates from Adelaide have created a multimillion-dollar business while addressing one of the biggest issues facing dogs in Australian households – separation anxiety. In early 2019, carpenter Jye ... Read more »

Key vax target to ‘start saying goodbye' to lockdowns

The Prime Minister has stressed the need to reach the “magic number” of 70 per cent of Australians vaccinated to bring an end to the fluctuating lockdowns which have continued ... Read more »

Tributes flow for instructor who died saving skydiver in horror incident at Torqauy

Tributes are flowing for an instructor who died while trying to save a skydiver during a terrible incident on Victoria’s southwest coast. Two men were doing a tandem jump – ... Read more »

Inside the house where Kandasamy and Kumuthini Kannan enslaved a woman

An emaciated woman who was kept as a slave and forced to live in horror conditions for eight years in the suburbs of Melbourne is not a “one off” case, ... Read more »

Former Nationals MP Michael Johnsen ‘vindicated' over dropped rape claims

Former NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen won’t be charged over allegations he raped a sex worker. The police sought legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions about the allegations. ... Read more »

Victorian policeman shot with own gun during struggle in Werribee

A cop has been shot with his own gun during a struggle with a man at a hospital in Melbourne’s west. A 29-year-old man was allegedly threatening staff when police ... Read more »

Five Sydney men charged after allegedly assaulting police and resisting arrest

A police officer has allegedly been assaulted during a Covid-19 compliance check in Sydney’s west. Six men have been charged over allegedly breaching Covid health orders, including five who were ... Read more »

Australian border: Pig foetus, freeze-dried quails among crazy items criminals are looking to smuggle into Aus

Australia’s biosecurity is at risk with our frontline workforce battling unrelenting smugglers using new and innovative ways to break through our borders. The West Australian can reveal that an average ... Read more »

Three men dead after head-on collision near Charters Towers

Three men have been killed in a fiery head-on collision west of Townsville. Police say two four-wheel drives travelling in opposite directions collided on the Flinders Highway at Black Jack, ... Read more »

Rescue operation underway after girl falls from cliff in Blue Mountains

A massive rescue operation is underway to retrieve a girl who fell from a cliff in the Blue Mountains. She is believed to have suffered head injuries after plummeting “a ... Read more »

Shocking truth about tragic western Sydney fatal stabbing revealed

A western Sydney woman who stabbed her partner through the heart after he scrawled lewd graffiti calling her a “slut” in a pub bathroom will spend at least five years ... Read more »

Push for group to have virus exemption amid Sydney's tough new lockdown rules

The NSW opposition is calling on the Berejiklian government to allow spiritual leaders in the eight locked down local government areas to leave their LGAs in order to livestream religious ... Read more »

Woman who doused husband in petrol, set him alight pleads guilty to manslaughter

A woman doused her husband in petrol and set him on fire as their children watched television in the nearby lounge room, a court has been told. Angela Surtees pleaded ... Read more »

Afghan elder ‘saw big soldier kick martyred villager' despite bad vision, Ben Roberts-Smith trial told

An Afghan villager claims he saw a “big soldier” kick his brother-in-law off a cliff before the simple farmer was “martyred” in an SAS raid. That’s despite being hundreds of ... Read more »

Queensland Health to continue using drug dispensing station despite concerns to patient safety

Queensland hospitals will continue to use a drug dispensing station despite alarming complaints from a specialist doctor who says it regularly fails and risks patient safety. The use of Pyxis ... Read more »

Facebook concedes it was caught out over spread of misinformation

Facebook has conceded it did not act fast enough to stamp out foreign interference on its platform during the 2016 US election. The social media giant has been widely condemned ... Read more »

Family's heartfelt plea for missing Melbourne man Eimable Manirakiza to come home

The family of a Melbourne soul singer who disappeared more than a month ago have made a heartfelt plea for him to come home as they ramp up efforts to ... Read more »

‘You had 1 job': Hilarious spelling error made at historic pub

Queenslanders have given their full support to a newly built pub despite a hilarious and rather obvious spelling error made outside the venue. After the Muckadilla pub burned down in ... Read more »

ABC defence documents in Christian Porter case to be sealed from the public

Highly sensitive documents filed in federal minister Christian Porter’s defamation case against the ABC will remain sealed from the public, the Federal Court has ruled. Justice Jayne Jagot said on ... Read more »

High-flying accountant with multiple Block properties jailed over ‘calculated' GST fraud

A wealthy accountant and property-owner, whose portfolio includes multiple homes from The Block and a high-profile nightclub on Queensland’s Gold Coast, has been jailed for duping the tax office out ... Read more »

80 per cent of Australian population must be vaccinated before lockdowns can end: Grattan Institute

Eighty per cent of Australians will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before lockdowns can end and borders can begin to reopen, one of the nation’s most respected think tanks ... Read more »

Man's alleged 15 year taxation fraud costs commonwealth more than $38.5 million

A South Australian man is due to front court after he was accused of defrauding the government $38.5m over 15 years by avoiding paying income tax. The defendant, 71, allegedly ... Read more »

All Parliament House staff may be forced to undertake sexual harassment prevention training

There must be an overhaul of the misogynistic and dangerous “boys club” many allege Parliament House is, including making voluntary anti-harassment training mandatory, workplace sexism experts say. Revelations of sexual ... Read more »