A young man required two surgeries after an “unprovoked and cowardly” flurry of punches from behind over the most minor of alleged provocations.
A young man required two surgeries after an “unprovoked and cowardly” flurry of punches from behind over the most minor of alleged provocations.

Teen breaks colleague's eye socket over ‘smug looks’

A Logan teenager has been sentenced in the District Court after he bashed an 18-year-old co-worker at the Woolworths store they both worked, simply because the other man was allegedly giving him "smug looks" and there was a vague rumour he wanted to fight.

Boronia Heights man Xaden Berryman, 19, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Thursday to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The court heard the disgraceful assault occurred about 5pm on April 26 last year at Forest Lake Shopping Centre outside the Woolworths store where the pair worked.

Berryman, who had no criminal history, waited outside the store for his co-worker to finish his shift, before striking him about a dozen times.

The assault began when Berryman ran up behind the co-worker as they were walking in the opposite direction, striking him in the head and knocking him onto the ground, where Berryman began raining down blows on the victim's head, only stopping when other Woolworths' staff and bystanders pulled him away.

Xaden Berryman at Brisbane District Court on AOBH charge. Pics Tara Croser.
Xaden Berryman at Brisbane District Court on AOBH charge. Pics Tara Croser.

The victim suffered a cut right eyebrow, requiring stitches; a fractured eye socket; and a broken nose requiring two surgeries to fix.

The court heard the victim suffered lingering emotional effects from the "unprovoked, persistent and cowardly" assault, including anxiety, a loss of trust in people, and the inability to be inside shopping centres or near Woolworths stores.

"He was happy-go-lucky before then and still feels angry and broken," Judge Dean Morzone QC told the court.

Judge Morzone expressed concern that the purported "smug looks and rumours he (the victim) wanted to fight you" were enough to provoke Berryman into such a blistering and cowardly course of action.

Defence counsel James Feely told the court his client, a former student of Park Ridge State High School and Kingston Centre of Education, was looking for work after his employment at Woolworths was terminated following the assault and intended to achieve a certificate in construction skills.

He noted he had strong support from his family and volunteered regularly at his local Australian rules football club, where he also is a player.

Judge Morzone placed Berryman on a two-year probation order and ordered he perform 60 hours' community service, in addition to paying the victim $2000 compensation.

No conviction was recorded.

 

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Originally published as Teen bashes Woolies co-worker, breaking nose and eye socket over 'smug looks'



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