Jesse Leigh Smith, 27, faced Mackay District Court, pleading guilty to breaching a suspended sentence put in place after he was convicted of a violent home invasion.
Jesse Leigh Smith, 27, faced Mackay District Court, pleading guilty to breaching a suspended sentence put in place after he was convicted of a violent home invasion. Facebook

Violent Mackay home invader breaches suspension

A MAN convicted over a savage home invasion, in which a man was set upon and had his jaw broken, has faced court for breaching his suspended sentence.

But instead of spending time behind bars for the breach, the Mackay man has walked free from court after being granted an immediate parole release.

Jesse Leigh Smith, 27, fronted Mackay District Court on Tuesday, pleading guilty to the breach.

Smith was originally sentenced in August, 2015, on charges of grievous bodily harm and entering a dwelling with intent.

At the time, he was sentenced to a total of four years and six months jail, suspended for three years after he served eight months, the court was told.

Between November last year and May this year, Smith was caught with a small amount of the drug ice and a pipe, and contravened several court orders, constituting the breach.

Crown prosecutor Alex Baker detailed Smith's original offences

She said Smith had been at his home drinking with his girlfriend and two co-accused men, on October 2, 2013.

Smith's girlfriend had been texting a man - the victim - and left the gathering to go to his home.

Ms Baker said Smith and his accomplices "formed a plan to go around and assault" the victim.

Showing up at the victim's house, they demanded to know where Smith's girlfriend was.

Two of the men "struck the complainant to the head", breaking the man's jaw, lacerating his scalp, and causing bruising and abrasions to his face.

Ms Baker told Judge Deborah Richards that Smith should serve the remainder of his original sentence; two years and four months jail.

"The entirety of the outstanding balance ... must be activated, unless the court would find it unjust to do so," she said.

In reply, defence barrister Bronywn Hartigan said that it would be unjust to invoke the remaining jail term.

She said it was "extremely important" to note Smith's latest crimes weren't of the same level of criminality as his original offences.

"And the drug offences are somewhat peculiar, because he has no history of drug offending and on my instructions it was a one-off event of dabbling and he was caught," she added.

However, Judge Richards chimed in: "Isn't it funny that people get caught on the first time they do things quite often?".

Ms Hartigan continued, adding Smith got a job as a concrete pumper after he served the eight months in jail, and tendered a character reference from a colleague.

She added Smith had stable accommodation - "important for ongoing rehabilitation".

The defence barrister, who was instructed by Fisher Dore Lawyers, also described Smith's record as quite minor before he was convicted in 2015.

Though Judge Richards again jumped in: "I'm not sure I'd classify assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company as a minor offence".

She noted Smith had "been out for seven months before he started re-offending", and didn't comply with a subsequent probation order.

Ms Hartigan stressed Smith's ongoing rehabilitation would be slowed should he be returned to jail.

In the end, Judge Richards agreed and decided not to return Smith to jail.

Smith was sentenced to a year in jail, with immediate parole.



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