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Trio jailed over Argent St brawl

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

By Craig Brealey

Three men who attacked a man outside the offices of a prisoner reintegration service in the main street have been sentenced to jail.

The fight happened about noon on June 4 in Argent Street near Iodide and the victim suffered minor stab wounds.

The man who stabbed him, Wayne Williams (27), escaped from the court house earlier this month and was at large for eight days.

In the Local Court yesterday the magistrate told the men that the people inside the Community Restorative Centre (CRC) had troubles enough of their own without having to be confronted with a street brawl.

“This was a serious affray in the middle of the day in a busy and popular area of Broken Hill,” said Magistrate Alexander Mijovich in sentencing the men who had pleaded guilty.

“It happened outside the CRC where other people were trying to deal with their own problems,” Mr Mijovich said.

According to police, the men were waiting outside the office for Anzac Sullivan (35) and set upon him when he stepped onto the footpath.

The court was told that Wayne Williams was out for revenge because Sullivan assaulted his sister and that he recruited Basil Roger Bugmy (24) and Percy Anthony Bates (34) to help him.

However, neither of Williams’ co-offenders knew he was carrying a knife, the court heard.

Sullivan suffered two small stab wounds for which he was treated at the hospital and released later that day, by which time police had arrested his assailants who have been in jail ever since.

Mr Mijovich told Williams yesterday he accepted there was a “degree of provocation” to his seeking revenge but that he had no right to take the law into his own hands.

Williams’ long criminal record was also of no help to him, the magistrate said, and he had stabbed the victim while he was lying “defenceless on the ground.”

Mr Mijovich sentenced him to 18 months’ jail for reckless wounding, with nine months non parole. 

On the charge of affray he received 12 months’ jail, and for being a prison inmate who escaped from lawful custody he was given six months.

Williams was brought to court from jail on November 1. He leapt from the dock, bolted out the door and was recaptured by police without incident on November 9.

The court was told that Bates had gone to the police station soon after the assault and helped them with their investigation. For this he had been attacked in prison and threats had been made against his life.

Mr Mijovich said it was a shame Bates had become involved because he had not been in trouble with the law for about 10 years.

“To his credit he handed himself in, but he pushed (Sullivan) to the ground where a more serious assault took place.

“You might have thought you were going there for a fair fight... you should have let the law take its course. That person (Sullivan) ended up with a custodial sentence for what he did.”

Bates was sentenced to 12 months’ jail with six months non parole on the charge of affray.

Bugmy, like Bates, did not know that Williams was armed with a knife and played only a minor role in the attack. 

“You should not have followed the others down,” the magistrate told him.

He was jailed for six months and, with time served, will be eligible for release next week.

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