A man trying to get Australian residency who took part in an unprovoked, armed attack in Albury's CBD has been given one last chance to front court.
An arrest warrant will be issued for Claude Nguweneza if he fails to attend a sentence hearing set down for September 13.
Magistrate Richard Funston said he was only giving Nguweneza that opportunity because it could not be confirmed whether his non-appearance was due to COVID lockdown issues, given he lived in Leneva.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Well, it's a serious charge of affray and of being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence," Mr Funston has told defence lawyer Mitchell Irwin in Albury Local Court.
Mr Irwin said he had tried but been unable to contact Nguweneza since his previous appearance.
With that, he withdrew from representing the 23-year-old.
Nguweneza had been living in Australia for about a year when he committed the offences.
He was seeking permanent residency and had managed to find work in Howlong.
The court was told how a friend of Nguweneza, aged 34, left Zed Bar in Dean Street on March 28 just after 3am.
He was standing at the corner of Kiewa Street when he saw the then 18-year-old victim, who he asked why he was drinking a can of mixed spirits outside a licensed premises.
The teenager approached Nguweneza's friend, who punched him in the face.
The pair briefly fought before being pulled away from each other by others milling in Dean Street.
The man then phoned Nguweneza and told him what had just happened, before grabbing an empty glass bottle from a nearby garden bed.
When Nguweneza arrived about 3.20am, his friend pointed out the victim before running up behind him and striking him to the face and head with the base of the bottle at least eight times.
Nguweneza took hold of the teenager's jumper to restrain him in order to allow his friend to continue his attack.
The victim was eventually able to break free, at which point Nguweneza pulled out a 60-centimetre wooden baton as he confronted him again.
The other man then ran at the victim again, hitting him in the face.
Nguweneza began swinging his baton at the victim but didn't connect as security staff from the bar stepped in and moved him away.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: