A young Victorian man who kicked a dying man four times in the ribs while he lay helplessly on the ground has avoided jail.
Braadi Rimene-Pohe on Thursday faced the Victorian County Court, where he was handed a two-and-a-half year community corrections order for his role in a drunken “mob” attack that killed Anthony Clark, 50, outside his home at Mooroolbark on Christmas Day in 2019.
Rimene-Pohe, 20, had pleaded guilty to common law assault for kicking Mr Clark four times in the ribs after he was knocked out by a baseball bat blow to the head by another attacker.
The 50-year-old man died three days later.
Rimene-Pohe also pleaded guilty to one count each of affray and criminal damage for smashing the windscreen of a car belonging to Mr Clark’s stepdaughter.
The 20-year-old was part of a group of seven youths who attacked Mr Clark in the mistaken belief he had hit a woman.
Judge Felicity Hampel said while the 50-year-old man’s death was a tragedy, Rimene-Pohe did not kill him and his sentence did not reflect the worth of Mr Clark’s life.
“It was disgraceful and terrifying episode,” Judge Hampel said.
“This shows how dangerous mob behaviour is … a dispute resulted in the death of someone who was trying to do no more than disperse a mob which came to his house.
“Mr Clark was a hard-working and well-loved man whose loss has caused deep grief for his family.”
Judge Hampel said Rimene-Pohe, a concreter, had never been before the courts for any other incident.
She said he was remorseful and had shown good character “staying out of trouble” since Mr Clark’s death two years ago.
“You exhibited shame and sorrow when you told your family what you had done,” Judge Hampel told the 20-year-old.
“You understood you had brought shame to the family, as what you had done did not reflect the values you were brought up with. You have already learned a hard and salutary lesson.
“If I ever see you in a court again I want it to be because you are appearing as a character witness for somebody who has done wrong and learned their lesson.”
Rimene-Pohe must complete 300 hours of unpaid community work.