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Community service for "disgraceful" assault

Wednesday, 24th April, 2013

A magistrate has described as A magistrate has described as "absolutely appalling" the behaviour of a teenager who joined in his mother's assault on a man last year.

A magistrate has described as "absolutely appalling" the behaviour of a teenager who joined in his mother's assault on a man last year.

Police said the victim was repeatedly punched and kicked during the attack which lasted several minutes at a house in Thomas Street on December 17 last year.

According to a police facts sheet, the victim - who went to the house to collect a can of spirits he had left there - was initially set upon by a woman before her son and up to two others joined in the assault.

Earlier this month, 46-year-old Tina Balchin was placed on a good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to assaulting the victim who suffered swelling and lacerations as a result of the beating.

Yesterday her son, 19-year-old Keta Balchin, appeared in the Local Court after pleading guilty to assault occassioning actual bodily harm in company.

Before sentencing Balchin, Magistrate Brian Van Zuylen told his lawyer, Rachel Story, that he was not compelled to give her client the same sentence as his mother and was in fact considering sending him jail.

"I find this absolutely appalling," Mr Van Zuylen said.

Police said the assault took place at the house of Tina Balchin's god daughter, who had earlier that day rejected the victim's attempts to start a relationship, and Balchin had agree to go to the house to support his mother and the woman.

Defence lawyer Rachel Story said her client had played a "more minor" role in the assault and the victim's injuries were not significant enough to require medical treatment.

Mr Van Zuylen ordered Balchin to perform 80 hours of community service, telling the man: "The court regards your behaviour as disgraceful."

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