Attack on Indian not racially motivated: Oz court

An Oz court spared the attacker of Indian student Lucky Singh who was brutally beaten up.

Updated: Nov 05, 2010, 21:20 PM IST

Melbourne: An Australian court Friday spared the attacker of Indian student Lucky Singh who was brutally beaten up, saying there was insufficient evidence to conclude it was a "race hate crime".

Judge Meryl Sexton told the 20-year old Shayne Casey Comensoli that his random attack on Singh was "quite outrageous".

The judge said he accepted the victim`s account that as Comensoli and another man bashed Singh unconscious and called him an "Indian dog" and said "shut up you Indian motherf-----, shut up", but there was insufficient evidence to conclude it was a "race hate crime".

"This attack occurred during a spate of reported offences of violence against men of Indian ethnicity in the western suburbs of Melbourne," Sexton said, adding "I am satisfied that at the point in time when you were attacking Singh you hated him.

However it is difficult to be satisfied to the same degree that your offence was wholly or partially motivated by hatred for Indian people in general," he said.

The judge rejected a prosecution argument that Comensoli should be sent to an adult jail and instead ordered he be detained in a youth justice centre for three years.

But under the youth justice system an offender can be released at any time from the date of sentence.

Sexton said the 23-year-old Singh was set upon at a phone box in Sunshine in October last year by Comensoli and co-accused Lennon Metaxas.

Singh was hit 15-20 times to the head and face, and kneed, and as he lay unconscious his attackers searched his clothing and stole a wallet containing USD 80.

Singh suffered fractures to his cheekbone and nose, severe swelling and bruising, and required reconstructive surgery.

Comensoli, formerly of Sunshine, pleaded guilty in the County Court to intentionally causing serious injury, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and robbery which carries a 15-year maximum.

PTI