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Justice for Jim

Saturday, 19th March, 2016

Jimmy Long: “He never recovered from his injuries”. Jimmy Long: “He never recovered from his injuries”.

By Craig Brealey

A 31-year-old man who bashed and robbed the elderly owner of the All Nations Hotel last year had assaulted someone else in Sydney just weeks before.

Brendan Lee Everuss, of Mount Druitt, had a criminal record going back 12 years that included spells in jail for assault, arson, possession of a knife and drugs, drink-driving and other crimes, the District Court was told yesterday.

Not long before he punched 77-year-old Jimmy Long to the floor of his hotel and kicked him on the evening of May 23, he had bashed a man on a bus in Sydney, Judge Gregory Farmer told the court.

Judge Farmer yesterday sentenced him to two-and-a-half years’ jail with one year on parole on the charge of robbery in company.

Everuss and a local man, David Edwards (22), had pleaded guilty to the charge, but the judge noted that this was in the face of a very strong case against them.

The evidence included witness statements, positive DNA matches and the fact that Mr Long had identified them from photographs.

“That’s it,” Mr Long told police when shown a photo of Everuss, the judge said.

“That’s the bastard who was standing over me and kicking me. I know him. I see him in my sleep.”

Mr Long was a well known musician in Broken Hill, renowned for playing the piano accordion.

He died in October last year, and his family told the BDT at the time that he had never recovered from the injuries he suffered on May 23.

Judge Farmer told the court that Everuss and Edwards had met for the first time that day and that each of them was on a methamphetamine binge.

They went to the hotel in Eyre Street and were drinking there when Everuss suggested to Edwards that they steal money from the till to buy more drugs, the judge said.

Everuss said he would hold Mr Long down while Edwards took the cash. At the time, they were the only customers in the bar.

About 5.40pm, police said, they were asked by Mr Long to leave for being drunk and when he turned his back on them to tend the fireplace, Everuss ran over and felled him with a punch to the left side of his face which knocked him down. 

 

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He then struck him several more times and kicked him while he was down, saying “Stay down or I will ... kill you,” Judge Farmer said.

Edwards took the takings from the till, which amounted to about $2000, and both men ran away.

Mr Long was left with bruises to his face, head, body and legs, and his spectacles were broken.

Police found Edwards in Broken Hill and Everuss was tracked down later in Mt Druitt, western Sydney.

Judge Farmer said he had no doubt that Everuss had instigated the crime, and that while Edwards was a “willing participant”, he accepted his explanation that he did not know that Mr Long was going to be bashed. 

“I knew it was wrong and I felt terrible, especially about what happened to the old person,” Edwards had said.

But they were equally guilty of a crime of the “utmost seriousness”, the judge said, even if there was little planning involved.

“One left his wallet behind, so they were not very terribly proficient, and this was their first venture into this type of activity.”

Judge Farmer also took into account the violent childhood of each of the men and their early introduction to drugs. He also noted that Edwards had been fostered by more than half a dozen families before he was 18 years old. He had just one previous conviction, for larceny, and had never been in jail before.

In contrast, Everuss had been in and out of prison since 2004. He will become eligible for release from jail on March 4, 2018, after which he must spend a year on supervised parole. 

Edwards will be due for release on February 25 next year, and will also have to serve a year’s parole.

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