Louis Andrews August 01, 2012
A refugee who fled war-torn Bosnia as a child will spend the next four months behind bars after kicking a shopkeeper in the head repeatedly.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker this morning sentenced Ermin Mehic to nine months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, serving four months as full-time custody.
The 25-year-old will have the remaining five months hanging over his head, suspended but attached to an 18-month good-behaviour order.
Mehic and two mates were drunk when they entered the Quick and Go convenience store in Civic last September.
Emir Ajetovic, 22, and Aldin Kahric, 26, starting punching and kicking the manager before Mehic joined in, kicking the victim in the head several times.
Mehic had no previous convictions for violence – only weapons possession and driving offences – but the Magistrates Court heard he had been in
Ms Walker said Mehic showed a "frightening lack of insight" into his crime.
"Indeed, you appear to have a life where violence is accepted as a norm," she said.
Mehic was a Bosnian muslim who spent his early years "surrounded by death and destruction" near Srebrenica.
He and his family fled to Australia via Germany.
The court heard Mehic was subsequently expelled from school for fighting, and used drugs and alcohol on occasions.
His partners-in-crime, Ajetovic and Kahric, were earlier jailed after pleading guilty but Mehic maintained his innocence until the day before his hearing earlier this year.
Mehic wrote a letter of apology to his victim, who suffered lacerations and bruising which took four-months to heal.
"One can only hope the letter you sent to him provides him some comfort," Ms Walker said.
But the court also heard Mehic suggested if the victim had only "kept his mouth closed" the incident wouldn't have occurred.
And Ms Walker also noted he subsequently said one of his co-offenders "should have been bashed", which she said showed a concerning attitude to violence.
The Chief Magistrate said although Mehic wasn't the instigator the injuries he caused were the most serious.
Mehic will be released from custody in late November or early December.
If he breaches the terms of his good-behaviour order Mehic will have to forfeit $1000.