AN Albury man who assaulted another man in the presence of a five-year-old girl has been jailed for at least nine months.
Beau Eric Burgess appeared yesterday in the Albury District Court after pleading guilty in August to a charge of aggravated break and enter and commit a serious indictable offence in company.
In sentencing, Judge Michael King SC said the circumstances surrounding the January 22 attack were “too serious” for anything other than jail.
The court was told in tendered facts that Burgess, 23, and his friend and co-accused, who has yet to be dealt with, attended the house of his friend’s former partner in Plummer Street, North Albury, about 8pm.
Burgess believed he was attending as a “mediator”.
While his friend knocked on the front door, Burgess entered via the unlocked back door; he told the court in sworn evidence this was because he’d been to the house before and was told to “always use the back door”.
As he walked in he saw his friend’s ex in the bedroom with another man; he ran down the hallway and punched him to the head six times, jumping on the bed and breaking it as he did so.
The woman’s five-year-old daughter was in her own bedroom at the time.
Burgess told the court he had “snapped”, but that hearing the young girl in distress made him “realise I was doing something wrong”.
He said he comforted the girl and put her in her bedroom before encouraging the co-accused to leave with him.
The victim didn’t suffer injuries from the assault, aside from soreness.
Burgess, who is in prison serving a sentence on driving-related matters, told the court it was his first time in jail and it “scared” him.
His defence barrister, Eric Wilson SC, said Burgess had “a short sharp shock” and jail had “a sobering effect” on him.
Judge King acknowledged Burgess was “genuinely remorseful and contrite” but maintained that “in my view, the circumstances are too serious” for a suspended jail term or community order.
He said while Burgess had issues with alcohol and mental illness in the past, there was no evidence either had played any part in this instance, and that he had entered a good behaviour bond for another matter two weeks before the assault.
“Considering this and he has at least one offence where he appears to struggle to control his anger ... I have significant concerns that unless he’s able to control his anger in the future, he’ll be at risk of reoffending,” he said.
Burgess was sentenced to 18 months’ prison, with a non-parole period of nine months, beginning at the end of his present sentence.