Nightclub attacker loses jail appeal
SOUTH African-born Ziyaad Whittaker has lost his appeal against an eight-year jail sentence for stabbing a nightclub bouncer in the back with a screwdriver.
Whittaker, now aged 23, moved to Mackay in 2004 with his parents and two brothers and finished Year 12 in 2007.
His family left South Africa after he was assaulted as a teenager, beaten and robbed of his clothes, schoolbag and mobile phone and was slashed with a broken beer bottle while walking through a squatter's camp.
Whittaker and his brother were involved in an altercation at a Mackay nightclub, which continued onto a footpath, so security officer Trent Turnbull, then aged 30, ordered Whittaker to leave the area.
Two hours later Whittaker came back wearing a hood, waited in ambush for Turnbull to finish work, and stabbed him twice in the back in a laneway.
Turnbull suffered life-threatening injuries and spent two weeks in hospital. One of his lungs collapsed and he required emergency surgery
Whittaker pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay to intentionally doing grievous bodily harm and Judge Julie Dick, SC, sentenced him to eight years in jail and declared him a serious violent offender requiring him to serve 80% of the sentence.
Whittaker appealed, claiming the sentence was manifestly excessive. The Court of Appeal rejected his appeal in Brisbane on Friday.
He now faces extradition to South Africa when he is released from prison.