Racist basher faces court

FOUR teenagers bashed the owners of a Tweed Heads South Chinese takeaway in a racially-based attack, the Tweed Heads Local Court heard this week.

Three of the four offenders were juveniles and cannot be named, but 18-year-old Banora Point man Blake Ryan McDonald appeared in the local court charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray.

The court heard the details of the apparently random attack, which Magistrate Jeff Linden described as "clearly racially based".

"It is a disgrace. And this fellow, who appears to be the only adult, has been charged. If he had a criminal record, he would be going to jail right now," Mr Linden said.

According to police facts handed to the court, the four boys were walking along Minjungbal Drive about 9.40pm on October 3 when one juvenile started throwing rocks at the window of the takeaway, putting chips in the glass.

The family that owns the restaurant, who are of Chinese origin, were inside cleaning after closing for the night and the son, 21, confronted the youths, which Mr Linden said he was perfectly within his rights to do.

According to police, the four youths racially taunted the young man when he came outside. The man's mother called police, and she and her husband went to help their son.

An independent witness said they heard one of the group say "I'm prepared to get locked up, but I will belt you first," then hit the young man in the face.

With this, the other four assaulted the 21-year-old until he fell to the ground and continued to punch and kick him in the head and body as he lay there.

His mother came to his assistance and fell over, and the father also became involved in the fight.

During the incident a small bottle of rum was smashed on the pavement.

When the melee began to break up and the offenders started to leave, McDonald continued to assault the victim, dragging him along the footpath.

Witnesses crossed the road to assist the victims and the four youths ran.

Police arrived and used capsicum spray in the arrest of two of the teenagers, but McDonald and the other youth escaped.

The Chinese family was taken to The Tweed Hospital by ambulance.

Medical staff said the young man was cut and had multiple fractures to his face.

McDonald turned up at the Tweed Heads Police Station at 11am on October 7, 2008, after being requested to appear.

He told police he was walking ahead of his friends, then saw them being assaulted and went back to help them. However, independent witnesses disagreed with McDonald's version of events.

Defence solicitor Russell Baxter tried to distance his client from the three "hoodlums", saying they were using McDonald for his intimidating "six foot eight" (two metres) stature. Mr Baxter said McDonald no longer associated with the three youths and would move to Yeppoon in Queensland in the new year to finish his trade as a builder.

A number of glowing references for McDonald were handed to the court.

Magistrate Jeff Linden placed McDonald on a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered him to pay $73 court costs.



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