A couple who bashed a good Samaritan after he tried to help when they crashed their stolen car have argued their sentences were too harsh.
A drugged-up couple who bashed a man when he stopped to help after they crashed their stolen car have argued their sentences for their brutal crimes were too harsh.
Baroch Baroch and Mawut Ater filed an application in the Victorian Court of Appeal to have their sentences slashed.
Both faced a number of charges, including intentionally causing injury. On that charge Baroch was sentenced to three years and nine months jail, while Ater was sentenced to three years and three months over the violent incident in November 2019.
Baroch argued that his sentence was “manifestly excessive” and there was no reason for the six-month difference in sentences between the pair.
Ater contended that the judge failed to take into account the inevitable cancellation of her visa and the increased burden of imprisonment resulting from her facing the prospect of deportation.
The Court of Appeal judges handed down their judgment on Tuesday.
They refused Baroch’s application for leave to appeal and said it was at the “high end” of the scale of objective gravity.
“The charges of intentionally cause injury arose from a very violent attack on a person who had come to offer assistance to the applicants, an attack which rendered him unconscious,” the judges wrote in their reasons.
But Ater enjoyed a small court win when the Crown conceded the judge had overlooked her visa status and prospect of being deported.
“As explained below, this occurred as a result of the way that issue was addressed before Her Honour. On that ground alone, Ater’s application will be granted and her sentence reduced to a limited extent.”
Ater was originally facing a head sentence of six years with a non-parole period of four years. That has been reduced to five years and three months with a non-parole period of three years and six months.
The Court of Appeal judges accepted that Ater had an obvious fear about the welfare of her two young children and family if she were to be deported back to South Sudan.
The court was earlier told that Baroch was driving erratically in the Melbourne suburb of Truganina while behind the wheel of a stolen silver Volkswagen Golf when he ran off the road and into an embankment.
Another motorist who had been following close behind witnessed the incident and stopped to render assistance, believing Baroch and his passenger Ater could be injured.
But the pair got out of the car and attacked the man, leaving him lying unconscious on the road. They then fled the scene in the man’s car.
The duo were in the middle of a crime spree at the time of the offence and were both heavy drug users.
Baroch had days earlier held a knife to a man’s throat and robbed him during a botched drug deal, while Ater was also involved in a carjacking days earlier.
Court documents revealed Baroch pleaded guilty to charges of intentionally cause injury, theft, commit an indictable offence on bail, dealing with the proceeds of crime and weapon possession.
Ater pleaded guilty to robbery, theft, intentionally cause injury, obtain property by deception, carjacking and handling stolen goods.