The victim of a bashing in a Wangaratta street was caught by surprise and had little chance to defend himself when he was attacked by four Shepparton men in April last year.
Avni Selman, 34, did not know the man and had nothing to do with the debt he apparently owed to his friend, but got involved and punched, kicked and pushed the victim's head into the concrete footpath.
He then tried to drag the man into a car, but he managed to get away.
Selman was the first of the attackers to be sentenced in the County Court after pleading guilty to attempted kidnapping and intentionally causing injury.
Judge Carolene Gwynn sentenced him to 18 months in jail and an 18-month community corrections order, with the condition to perform 175 of unpaid work.
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She said a witness who filmed the incident on his phone saw the victim "lay on the road in a foetal-like position with his arms covering his face ... shirtless and bleeding from his face" while being assaulted.
"You should never have been involved. Four on one automatically placed (the victim) at disadvantage," Judge Gwynn said.
Selman has been in custody more than a year since the assault on April 20, 2019.
The court heard he has a criminal history which spans nine years, suffers depression, and at the time of the offending, was using a gram of ice per day.
Judge Gwynn said she accepted the risk of contracting coronavirus in prison was a source of anxiety and Selman had been on 20-hour lockdown during the pandemic with no in-person visits from family.
"They are now fully aware of your drug use and abuse and the circumstances of this offending," she said.
"In effect, your dirty laundry has been aired, which puts you in a good place to properly utilise the supports which they offer you."