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Home detention for “shocking” assault

Saturday, 31st January, 2015

A man who took part in a “frightening and shocking” attack which left another man with a broken nose and swollen face has avoided being sent to prison.

Instead, Stuart Alan Arthur Bunney will spend the next 18 months on an intensive corrections order after he pleaded guilty to assaulting the younger man in February 2013.

During the “sustained attack” the 20-year-old victim was punched repeatedly, struck in the face with a child’s scooter and had his face stomped on several times. 

According to police evidence given to the Local Court yesterday, he was standing out the front of a house in Morgan Street when Bunney and a number of other people drove past in a blue Commodore.

A short time later they returned and Bunney and another man got out and walked up to the victim and begun punching him in the head and face, before leaving.

About 30 minutes later they returned and Bunney again walked up to the victim, who was sitting on the front fence, and punched him in the cheek.

The attack continued inside the front yard with Bunney and his accomplice throwing “a barrage of punches” at the victim, according to police.

At one point, Bunney or the other man picked up a child’s scooter and swung it at the man, striking him in the face. The force sent him backwards and he lost consciousness for a short time.

When he woke up he was being repeatedly punched and one of the attackers had his hands around his throat.

Both men then stomped on the man’s face several times before the attack finally came to an end at the behest of witnesses.

The victim was flown to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he was treated for double vision, a swollen face, nerve damage and a fractured nose.

Yesterday magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said given the “appalling facts” of the case and Bunney’s criminal history, he had no choice but to send the 23-year-old to prison.

Mr Dunlevy said the attack would have been “very frightening and shocking” for the victim and the witnesses.

But he said given Bunney’s young age and guilty plea, he had decided to spare him from a custodial sentence and instead placed him on an intensive corrections order.

Conditions of the order can include a curfew, electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol testing and community service.   

“So if you waste this chance and break the order you will almost certainly be sent to prison,” Mr Dunlevy told Bunney.”

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