No convictions for Ecklin deb party brawl teens

FIVE youths involved in a vicious brawl at an Ecklin after-deb party have avoided conviction.

The youths, who cannot be named because they are aged under 18, all pleaded guilty to affray when they appeared in a court last week.

Each was yesterday placed on a good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $500 to the court fund.

Sentencing had been adjourned while police officers tried to contact the main victim, who according to a victim impact statement had “unresolved issues”.

However, the victim could not be contacted and it was decided a group conference involving the defendants fronting their victims was not necessary and sentencing went ahead.

None of the defendants had prior convictions and a large number of references were tendered to the court from community leaders, school teachers and sports officials. 

The five teenagers were charged following an incident at a debutante ball after-party at an Ecklin South property on March 23 last year.

About 200 people were at the party, which was held in a three-car garage and involved a disco and smoke machine.

The court was told that about 10.30pm one witness was dancing when he was bumped by one of the youths and pushed him back.

The youth retaliated by head-butting and jumper-punching the victim to the chest, then punching him to the face.

The victim grabbed the aggressor and pulled him down, ripping off his shirt. He was then set on by a number of people, suffering a split and swollen lip and right eye.

One of 10 adults supervising at the party intervened and was twice hit to the back of the head.

The man was then grabbed by the initial offender in a headlock. 

He was unable to breathe so he up-ended the youth, causing both to fall to the ground. While on the ground the man was punched and kicked by people standing around. 

The victim suffered injuries to his face, torso and legs, including fractures to his cheekbone and ribs.

Witnesses told police they were sick, angry and horrified and the adult victim’s young daughter was hysterical. 

Police said each of the charged youths, except one, had clearly downplayed their roles in the brawl.

A magistrate described the incident as wanton violence by a group of alcohol-affected thugs.

He said affray was all about putting people in fear and terror and kicking someone when they were down was one of the lowest acts.

Another lawyer described the incident as a “saloon-type brawl” which witnesses said involved 10 to 15 people from the crowd of 200.

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