A 29-year man from Double Bay was found guilty of bashing two teenage girls in the hours following this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, and has been sentenced to 20 months in prison, the ABC reported.
Jesse MacKenzie, blamed the girls aged 15 and 16, who were dressed in rainbow outfits for Mardi Gras, for the assault. The incident took place at Pirrama Park in Pyrmont on Saturday March 6, 2021.. In video evidence submitted to the court, three fully grown men were seen assaulting the young girls.
Update: Jesse Mackenzie earlier this week lodged a severity appeal, claiming that the 20 month jail time imposed for his shocking attack on two teenage girls was an excessive sentence.
Magistrate Claire Farnan has granted Mackenzie bail to attend a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility with a September 16th court date now set out for the district court of New South Wales to hear his appeal.
MacKenzie is seen punching one of the girls, and then dragging one of the other victims by her hair over a ledge with a one metre drop and pushing her over. When she is on the ground, MacKenzie’s friends Hong Ben Lee and William Shepley repeatedly stomp her on her head.
As reported by Star Observer at the time, the Pyrmont incident was just one in a number of violent incidents to happen in the hours directly after this year’s Mardi Gras Parade.
ABC reporter Mark Reddie reported to police after he faced a homophobic attack, while local resident Steven Collins and his boyfriend were targeted twice within a span of five minutes at the corner of Riley and Oxford Street.
Lawyers Claim It Was Mistake, But Judge Rules ‘No Remorse’
Mackenzie apologised to his victims via written letter, but then went on to claim that they had “antagonised” him, the ABC report said.
Magistrate Robert Williams had rejected his bail application in March and had relied on the fact that at the time of the incident MacKenzie was subject to no less than five community correction orders. Just a week before the incident, he was placed on a two-year correction order for allegedly assaulting another woman last year.
His lawyers claimed that MacKenzie had acknowledged that he had made a mistake but he was intoxicated and this clouded his decisions. They said that MacKenzie had lost his sister to suicide last year, which resulted in him turning to alcohol and substance abuse. MacKenzie had also been assaulted while in custody, they claimed.
Magistrate Clare Farnan considered that the accused had led a “somewhat troubled” life, but also noted that his “remorse was limited”, the ABC said. MacKenzie will have to spend another six months in prison as the court said that he will be not eligible for parole any earlier than January 2022.
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