Jail for Maldon man’s ‘savage attack’

A Maldon man who repeatedly stomped on a man’s chest, leaving him with 13 fractures to his ribcage, has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Nanjing Night Net

Christopher John Downes, 26, pleaded guilty in the County Court yesterday to intentionally causing injury and intentionally causing serious injury after an argument at a backyard drinking session got “horrendously out of hand”.

Prosecuting, Peter Jones said Downes had been drinking with friends in the early afternoon of April 4 when a fight broke out.

Mr Jones said Downes started arguing with one man, then stood over him and repeatedly punched him to the head, kicking him when he fell to the ground.

The court heard another man tried to intervene and Downes turned on him, throwing several punches to his head.

Mr Jones said this man fell to the ground and lost consciousness. He said that was when Downes started kicking him to the body then jumped on his chest at least four times with both feet.

Downes’ first victim suffered cuts and bruises to his head and face. The second victim had two of his teeth knocked out, required stitches to his face and suffered 13 fractures to his rib cage.

Downes’ lawyer Stephen Payne said his client had been drunk at the time of offending. “He’s not a violent man by nature until the drink goes in,” he said.

Mr Payne said that when intoxicated Downes had the tendency to “react extremely inappropriately to what he sees as the slightest threat or challenge”.

Mr Payne said this all stemmed from an incident when Downes was “effectively” run over by his half-brother at 16. He said Downes still suffered physically and mentally from that incident, battling alcohol abuse.

But Judge Roy Punshon said being alcohol-affected did not reduce Downes’ moral culpability. “It’s a very savage attack,” he said.

Downes must serve three years and three months’ jail before being eligible for parole.

GUILTY: Christopher John Downes. Picture: PETER WEAVING

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