‘You seemed to be motivated to simply hurt these men’
The ringleader behind two fierce bashings in Mackay has been jailed for the random savagery against a taxi driver and a man waiting at a bus stop.
"You seemed to be motivated to simply hurt these men," Judge Vicki Loury said in sentencing Bronson Beau Tomarra on Thursday.
But barrister Paul Rutledge said his 22 year old client had been dealing with significant grief, was angry and aimless when he attacked the two victims.
The violence occurred over two consecutive nights, July 8 and 9, in 2019.
Mackay District Court heard it began when Tomarra and three others caught a taxi from Beaconsfield to the city fringe about 10pm.
Tomarra, then 20, made racist comments to the driver and attempted to standover him when the vehicle was stopped on Shakespeare St.
The driver got back into the vehicle where Tomarra punched in the head five times and a co-offender also assaulted him.
When the victim left the car and ran, Tomarra and another followed and even prevented the driver from waving down passing vehicles for help. Eventually they left.
The following night, Tomarra was with a group who came across a young man waiting at a bus stop. Tomarra told him "he was in the wrong place and to leave".
When the man ran, Tomarra sent his group to chase him down and jump on him.
The victim was pushed into a garden as Tomarra and the group demanded money. He said he did not have any, and threw his phone at the attackers.
Tomarra and the others then kicked him in the head and body. A co-offender stole his phone.
"These offences collectively are concerning examples of random group violence visited upon soft targets late at night in a public setting," Crown Prosecutor Alexandra Baker said.
She said the crimes called for a penalty highlighting general deterrence, denunciation and community protection.
The court heard Tomarra had "effectively acted as a ringleader for a violent mob" in attacking the young man at the bus stop.
Ms Baker said there was also an "underlying inference of racial motivation" behind the assault on the taxi driver given derogatory comments made before the attack.
Tomarra pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and aggravated assault causing bodily harm.
Barrister Paul Rutledge, instructed by Barron and Allen Lawyers Mackay, said his client had a limited history making these offences out of character.
He told the court Tomarra's life "took a very bad turn" when he was about 18 years old - first his dad died, within a month his mother also died, followed soon after by the death of his grandfather.
"All his close major elder supports died," Mr Rutledge said.
"He did not handle the deaths of his loved ones well.
"He frankly said that he would take his anger out on others."
Mr Rutledge said Tomarra never got help, "just continued in this angry frame of mind and began drinking heavily.
"He really doesn't know why he did it … he'd been drinking," Mr Rutledge said.
"One suspects that we're dealing with a man who … hasn't handled the deaths of his mother, his father, his grandfather.
"He's angry and living an aimless existence and he's getting no support."
The court heard he had already spent 110 days in pre-sentence custody - his first time in jail.
"It seems rather apparent that you have unresolved grief and that you need to get some help to deal with it because otherwise you are going to end up back in jail," Judge Loury said.
"As you recognise, your mother raised you to be a better man than you are now. And if she saw where you are sitting today she would be distressed, she would be ashamed."
Judge Loury said the attacks "seemed to be entirely gratuitous" and found there was a suggestion of racial undertones towards the driver.
Tomarra was jailed for two and a half years jail with parole release on July 1 this year after serving eight months. Convictions were recorded
Judge Loury took into account his young age, limited history and the real possibility for rehabilitation.