Four men launched a “cowardly attack” on an unarmed 21-year-old at a Brisbane soccer match in retaliation for a teenager’s fatal bashing, a court has been told.
The shocking altercation unfolded at a crowded soccer field in Acacia Ridge in October 2020, when a large group of men set upon the victim with a baseball bat and hammer as he struggled to defend himself.
Brisbane Supreme Court was told it was the third gang-related attack at the time, following two incidents in Redbank and Zillmere.
Camera IconAbdulrahman Mohamed Rage arrives at the District Court in Brisbane to be sentenced for his role in the vicious bashing of a 21-year-old man at an Acacia Ridge soccer match last year. Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia
The second attack in September last year resulted in the death of Girum Mekonnen, 18, after he was set upon by a group of men at a park in Zillmere.
On Thursday Abdulrahman Mohamed Rage, Deng Sebit Arou Kur, Liec Alapayo Manyang and Omot James Omot were jailed for the “prolonged and persistent” attack on the 21-year-old man – described by the crown as a retaliatory attack over the deadly Zillmere bashing.
The court was told the victim was a relative of one of the men charged for fatally attacking Mr Mekonnen.
Camera IconGirum Mekonnen (pictured) lost his life in a gang fight at Zillmere Park in September last year. Credit: Supplied
On October 4, 2020, he was confronted by the four men while attending a soccer tournament in Acacia Ridge.
Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand said Manyang, 19, approached the victim as he sat in a car, saying “Let’s go for a talk” before punching him.
Manyang told the victim his relative “jumped my cousin” – referring to the attack on Mr Mekonnen.
Mr Le Grand said two cars containing more people arrived before the group of 15 people – including the four defendants – followed the victim and continued their attack.
He said the victim was punched and kicked by the four, while unknown offenders – who were not before the court – struck the victim with a hammer and baseball bat.
Judge Michael Byrne noted Rage was seen handing out weapons like baseball bats to the large group “like they were Christmas presents”.
Camera IconThe court was told Rage (pictured) was seen handing out weapons to the large group that arrived before the attack on the victim continued. Credit: News Corp Australia
The group of offenders “rapidly dispersed” after bystanders intervened and the victim took shelter in a nearby shed.
“The complainant was completely unarmed and outnumbered,” Mr Le Grand said.
“He could not have mounted a defence to the onslaught … as he tried to remove himself, he was pursued up the field.”
Kur, Omot and Manyang each pleaded guilty to common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company.
Omot also pleaded guilty to going armed so as to cause fear and affray.
Rage pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company, going armed so as to cause fear and affray.
Lawyers for each of the men said each of them had difficult backgrounds, some migrating to Australia after fleeing war in Sudan.
The court was told the men otherwise had good family backgrounds and work histories.
James Feely, acting for Omot, said his client was remorseful and sorry for the harm he caused.
“He wishes he could take back his actions if he could,” Mr Feely said.
Kate Juhasz, acting for Rage, said her client had no relevant criminal history and was looking to pursue work in social work.
Rage received a two-year probation order along with 200 hours of community service. Time spent in custody since his arrest last year was declared as time served.
Manyang and Omot were jailed for three years but were made immediately eligible for parole.
Kur was jailed for two years – cumulative on time spent in custody last year – with a parole eligibility in January next year.
Separately, thirteen men have been charged with murdering Mr Mekonnen in September last year. That case is currently before the courts.Internet Explorer Channel Network