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Assaulted man was wrong target of vigilante justice

Assaulted man was wrong target of vigilante justice

Friday 16 June 2023

Assaulted man was wrong target of vigilante justice

Friday 16 June 2023

A case of mistaken identity in a drunken moment of vigilante justice has seen a 20-year-old man be sentenced to 110 hours of community service.

Finley Price was said to have mistaken his victim for someone else before assaulting him, and was sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Prosecuting Advocate Phoebe Cobb told the court the defendant was sat in a car at North Beach carpark around 03:40 on 12 February with the complainant, who he knew from school. 

Price exited the car, walked around and began to push the victim with his forearm and delivered a punch to the face. He continued delivering punches while other people at the scene attempted to stop him. Price then realised the complainant was not the intended target and offered his apologies.  

The victim suffered swelling to the face, a black eye, and a chipped tooth and went to the Police after the incident.  

northbeach north beach carpark town car park

Pictured: The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning at North Beach.

Advocate Liam Roffey, defending, said it is difficult to excuse an assault, but asked the court to consider some “important” background information.  

Price had believed he was attacking someone who had been trying to groom someone he knew. This amounted to retaliation for a “much older male attempting to groom [a much younger person]”. However, Advocate Roffey accepted that the courts do not view “vigilante retribution” well.  

He said Price was a hardworking young man who generally used his spare time productively, suffered from anxiety, and was drunk at the time of the assault. 

Advocate Roffey also noted that his client had been “very apologetic” to all parties at the time and had no opposition to various forms of compensation.  

Judge Graeme McKerrell in sentencing said “vigilante justice” will not be tolerated as “violence is never a solution to anything”. 

The victim's injuries were “not insignificant” but the age of Price meant he would be spared physical detention. 

Price was handed 110 hours of community service and ordered to repay medical bills totalling £62, as well as general compensation of £500 to the victim. 

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