Two brothers who beat a stranger unconscious in a “savage attack” near a Melbourne nightclub have been spared jail. James and Matthew Bruce have been sentenced to community correction orders in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for punching and kicking the man in the head as he lay unconscious on the ground in the early hours of June 21, 2015.
The court heard the victim had stopped the brothers outside the Revellers nightclub on Chapel Street when he mistakenly believed James Bruce had called him “my nigga”.
When the man walked away, the brothers followed him to a nearby car park where James Bruce instigated an attack on him which lasted a minute and a half.
In sentencing the pair, Magistrate Carolene Gwynn described it as “savage” and said the footage of the attack captured by CCTV cameras was “sickening and disturbing”.
“There were numerous occasions when [James] could have stopped … but he remained undaunted,” she told the court.
“The community is sick of [street violence] and we’re all well aware of the devastating impact.”
Victim has forgiven brothers, court hears
The court heard the victim had forgiven the men who he extended compassion to just hours after being discharged from hospital following the attack.
In a statement read to the court, he told police: “I can just see they made a stupid decision … I don’t want this to ruin the rest of their lives.”
The court heard both men had no prior criminal history and had complied fully with their bail conditions.
James Bruce’s lawyer, Dominic Care, told the court the bashing was a one-off.
“He’s not a person that goes out looking for trouble or binge drinks,” he told the court.
Ms Gwynn said the men had been assessed as being at a low risk of reoffending and were genuinely remorseful and ashamed.
James Bruce has been ordered to comply with a two-year community correction order and undertake 400 hours of community work.
Matthew Bruce will serve a 14-month community correction order including 200 hours community work.