Unpaid debt leads to savage baseball bat attack
A SAVAGE attack with a baseball bat over an unpaid debt left a man with a broken femur after the person he owed money to decided to take matters into his own hands.
After being in custody for the last 305 days, Jammie Joseph Cooper, 43 fronted Roma District Court on Tuesday facing one charge of grievously bodily harm and one charge of going armed to cause fear.
Prosecutor, Michael Gawrych told the court the afternoon of February 1, 2019 Cooper and his partner drove into town and were circling the block at a Mitchell hotel the victim was drinking at with his friends.
A witness at the scene told police they had seen the defendant get out of the vehicle his partner was driving and approached the victim to confront him.
A fight then began, which CCTV footage showed Cooper swinging the baseball bat and hitting the victim in the left leg several times, as well as across the neck which caused him to fall to the ground.
Cooper then dropped the bat and punched and kicked the victim several times before witnesses intervened.
Cooper then left the scene in his partners car and drove away.
Police managed to track Cooper at his partner’s house where they found the baseball bat and clothing which matched the CCTV footage.
The court heard that the victim had spent three days in hospital due to his injuries and had been unable to work for three months.
Being struck with a baseball bat caused a fracture to the victim’s femur which required surgery.
His victim impact report revealed he has ongoing pain as a result of the injuries
The defendant’s lawyer told the court that the complainant had owed his client a debt of $300 as he was not working at the time and needed it for living expenses and to buy Christmas presents for his children.
The court also heard Cooper who was born in Sydney had a traumatic upbringing, with periods of homelessness.
The lawyer said that Cooper had been in a stable relationship for the past two years and his partner had allegedly said something to instigate his actions.
The defendant’s lawyer also said that since Cooper has been in prison, he has been taking steps to behave in a responsible manner.
He pleaded guilty to both charges in court.
“If you turn up with a baseball bat to enforce a debt, it’s really not a good look,” Judge William Everson said.
“I need to take into account your extensive and relevant criminal history, where you have served significant periods of imprisonment.
“Your armed yourself with a baseball bat and attacked the complainant in a public place. Offences of this type warrant deterrent sentences.
“You’re not a youthful offender and you clearly have a flagrant disregard for civilised behaviour.
Judge Everson sentenced him to four years imprisonment, with a parole release date as of June 6 2020.
This sentence counted the 305 days Cooper had already spent in custody.