Brothers attack ex-girlfriend’s new love interest
A DISTRICT court judge shared his own family's grief over an assault after he heard the case of two brothers who attacked a former partner's new love interest.
Mackay brothers Ethan Nigel Gardner, 24, and Nicholas William Gardner, 26, were in Toowoomba on February 23, 2019, and had gone to a Coles supermarket to buy milk.
Ethan went to the smoking area, seeking out his former partner, Bianca Burrell.
Ms Burrell had moved out of Ethan's mother's home two weeks prior, and Ethan believed it was to give them space.
After exiting the store, Nicholas heard his brother and Ms Burrell arguing.
Mackay District Court hear he witnessed his brother punching Ryan Alexander Bethune multiple times and knocking him off his chair.
Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker said Nicholas kneed Mr Bethune in the head six times while Ethan restrained him.
The pair pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in company.
Mr Bethune suffered abrasions to his eyes and bruises to his body, and was taken to hospital.
"It was two on one," Ms Baker said.
Ethan's lawyer Geoff Govey said his client was aware of Mr Bethune, but believed his involvement with Ms Burrell was a "one off".
"He walked into the area to organise a dinner date and saw her with Mr Bethune," Mr Govey said.
"It wasn't as if it was premeditated … Mr Bethune didn't deserve to be touched."
Nicholas's lawyer Jordana Abela said Nicholas had approached the smoking area with the "intention of breaking up the fight".
"He accepts things got out of control and he is embarrassed and remorseful," she said.
Judge Ian Dearden said his nephew had been attacked outside a nightclub a couple of weeks ago, and had suffered a traumatic brain injury after a bleed on the brain.
"That's what happens when you punch or kick someone in the head," Judge Dearden said.
"It could've been much worse. Violence never solves anything, it just leads to a whole stack of other problems."
Judge Dearden said "sexual jealousy" was no excuse.
The brothers apologised, with Ethan stating he did not plan to reoffend and Nicholas stating his actions were "disgusting".
They both received six months wholly suspended jail sentences that will hang over their heads for a year.
They were also ordered to pay $750 compensation each.
Convictions were recorded.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.