August 20, 2013 – 2:31PM
A former member of the neo-Nazi “Crazy Whiteboys” gang at a Port Melbourne school who attacked a Vietnamese international student by smashing a brick over his head with such force the brick broke in two has had his minimum jail term reduced by one year.
Shannon Hudson, 22, had been jailed for 10 years and six months with a non-parole period of eight years over the savage race-hate attack, which a Supreme Court judge described as “deplorable”, “brutal” and “unprovoked”.
Court of Appeal Justices Peter Buchanan, Marcia Neave and Phillip Priest allowed Hudson’s appeal against his sentence on Tuesday and reduced his non-parole period to seven years.
Justice Buchanan said Hudson’s crime was one of “wanton and unprovoked viciousness” but while the total jail sentence was within an acceptable range, the non-parole period was too severe for such a young offender.
About 10pm on June 27 last year, Hudson, Wayne O’Brien and another friend, who cannot be identified because he was 17, were on their way to Hudson’s Ascot Vale home after a day of drinking in the city, when they noticed the student walking on the opposite side of Rothwell Street, listening to music on his iPhone.
The student was on his way home from his part-time job at a 7-Eleven.
The court heard that one of the three ran across the road and the others followed and began punching and kicking their victim in the head, face and body.
They taunted him and yelled things including “you f—ing Gook” and “lie down you dog, you yellow dog” as the man begged for his life.
Hudson and O’Brien had been members of the Crazy Whiteboys gang at school.
Supreme Court Justice Betty King, when jailing Hudson and O’Brien, said their victim was “terrified and believed he was going to be beaten to death”.
The victim repeatedly asked why they were attacking him before he was stabbed and fell unconscious in the gutter.
“Despite that, it would appear that the assault continued,” Justice King said.
“In a particularly chilling episode of violence, you [Hudson] picked up one of the bricks that was lying loose on the ground. Mr O’Brien, in his statement, said he tried to stop you by saying ‘don’t worry about it, come on man, lets just f—ing go’, but you persisted – you lifted the brick up over your head, with both of your hands and then brought it down on the top of [the victim’s] head, with such force that the brick itself broke in half.”
After his arrest, O’Brien told police that Hudson had wielded the brick like a sledgehammer.
In an interview with police, O’Brien said: “It’s just like … don’t like you know Asian people, any descent, don’t like Jews and I don’t like Negros …
“But I’ve never gang-bashed someone, like never seen someone being bricked and I’ve never seen someone like so close to f—ing death.”
The victim, who the judge said was almost unrecognisable as a human being after the bashing, suffered multiple lacerations to the head, face and body; a fractured skull; a torn left cheek and lip requiring stitches and plastic surgery; a stab wound to the left forearm; two stab wounds to the lower back; the loss of several front teeth and numerous crooked teeth which required realignment or removal.
He needed facial reconstructive surgery and continues to receive treatment, particularly in relation to his jaw and dental problems.
In his victim impact statement, the student said he had trouble speaking and was fearful of strangers.
Justice King said Hudson and O’Brien had been incredibly fortunate that the student did not die.
“The beating that he was given by you was remorseless, violent and sustained.”
Hudson was jailed for 10 years and six months with a non-parole period of eight years, while O’Brien, who had no previous convictions and had co-operated with authorities, was jailed for four years and six months with a non-parole period of two years and six months. The 17-year-old was dealt with in the children’s court.
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Transcript of original trial