ACT News


Weekend jail for bashing

Two men who viciously beat and robbed a friend after accusing him of possessing child pornography will spend their weekends in jail for the next year.

Matthew James Hood pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to aggravated robbery and property damage and was ordered to serve one year of periodic detention.

Co-offender Matthew James Burge, who also faced four charges of burglary and theft in separate incidents, pleaded guilty and was slapped with one year of periodic detention.

In February, Hood, 20, and Burge, 21, went to the man's Calwell home after drinking at a nearby club.

The court heard the trio watched television and smoked cigarettes before discussing pornography.

The complainant, a 54-year-old man, mentioned he had recently downloaded some pornography and invited the pair to watch it on his laptop. Burge did so and began accusing the older man of having images of underage girls on the computer.


A subsequent police check of the computer revealed no images appearing to be child pornography.

The pair then proceeded to attack the other man, kicking him repeatedly in the head and chest.

Burge and Hood took the man's wallet, which contained a bank card and a $100 supermarket gift card, and demanded he tell them his bank PIN.

When he refused they discussed getting a knife or a pair of scissors from the kitchen and stabbing him until he told them the number.

The court heard they proceeded to smash a stereo system, stab scissors into a wall and ransack the house.

The victim required surgery for a fractured eye socket and lacerated spleen.

The court heard Burge, an apprentice butcher, estimated he had 36 standard drinks that day and had little memory of the attack.

Justice Hilary Penfold sentenced Burge to a three-year jail term, backdated to take into account 27 days already spent in custody, with one year to be served in periodic detention and the remainder suspended.

Hood was given two years and nine months, backdated to take into account 21 days in custody, as one year of periodic detention and then suspended.

Each was ordered to sign a three-year good behaviour order and pay a $500 security.