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27 June, 2021

Man attacks ex-flatmate in bed, narrowly avoids jail

A 39-YEAR-old Victoria Plains man has narrowly avoided further jail for breaking into a house with an accomplice and repeatedly punching his former housemate in his bed.

By John Bell

Shane Edward Orby was charged with burglary in company and assaulting his former house- mate on June 4, 2020.

The Mackay District Court was told Orby caused two fractures to his victim’s nose while he was wearing a disguise over his face and his juvenile accomplice kept the bedroom door closed to stop people coming in - until the victim lifted the disguise and he was recognised.

The Police Prosecutor said Orby had a string of prior assault charges in Queensland, in New South Wales and three from the Australian Federal Police with resulting prison sentences.

Orby appeared via video link from Maryborough Prison, where he publicly apologised to his partner, who called out from the back of the District Court that she forgave him.

Orby’s counsel told Judge Deardon that his client had been struggling to overcome alcohol- ism and an ice addiction. He had started life with a violent alcoholic father and following his parents’ divorce, spent his childhood in a hotel bar with his mother.

However Judge Deardon took into account that Orby had been in custody for 10 months and he will be released on 20 months of parole on July 6.

Judge Deardon explained that Orby would be regularly tested for drugs and would be returned to jail if there was a positive result.

“You also have numerous tick- ets to work machinery like cranes and backhoes and you would have no difficulty getting a job.”

“It is to your credit that you entered a plea of guilty and acknowledged the very serious nature of your offending, including numerous assaults and 20 breaches of domestic violence orders, plus an assault occasioning bodily harm on your do - mestic partner’s sister when on probation,” the Judge said. \

“If there is one clear thing from your offend - ing, it’s related to your drug and alcohol use and that’s what you need to deal with and that’s what you need to be open and honest with yourself and your parole officer about, and your going to need to work on.

“You’re approaching 40 now and your already starting to be one of the older blokes in prison.

“If you want to spend a significant part of your life in prison and be like the old lags; don’t change. If you want to be a bloke who uses your skills which are obvious and you seem to have no problem getting a job.

“You obviously have a range of skills to get jobs and you prepared to work regionally, so blokes like you who are prepared to go and do road building, can be very easy to employ.

“But you’re only going to do that if you stay off the grog and stay off the drugs and stop commit - ting criminal offences. “In all the circumstances, although I do con - sider these as serious offences, I’m prepared to reduce the penalty as little from what I was initially going to do.

“You’re convicted and sentenced to two and half years. But I declare the period between 23 August 2020 and 21 June 2021, or a total of 303 days, as time served and I set a parole release date of today.”

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