Appeal win over Gosford violent assault sentence

TO his mother, he is the good son.

To family friends, he's the young man who displays "a level of maturity uncommon for his age".

Even a District Court judge accepts that "at heart he's not a bad young man".

But Aaron Snowden, 22, of Tuggerawong, could kick the head of an unconscious stranger in a group assault that started outside a pie shop and ended with four men charged.

WARNING: Graphic violence. See an edited version of the security footage below.



The assault on a man in his 20s, captured on closed-circuit TV footage outside the Central Coast Leagues Club on October 22 last year, was "graphic and disturbing to watch", police said. The victim was chased through the streets of Gosford shortly before 4am after a verbal argument outside a pie shop involving two other men.

The victim became the focus of a group chase after he allegedly elbowed factory worker Steven Crutcher, 29, of Buff Point, who was chasing another man.

The victim was crash-tackled to the ground by Beau Richards, 23, of Kanwal, and punched and kicked by group members until he lost consciousness.

CCTV footage showed Crutcher punching the motionless victim once to the head.

It showed Richards punching the victim twice to the head and chest.

It showed another man, Paul Hilder, assaulting the victim, and Snowden kicking him twice to the body - with one kick missing - and twice to the head, and punching him twice to the head, including when he was unconscious.

Crutcher and Snowden could give police no explanation for kicking and punching the victim, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and face and head injuries requiring stitches.

Richards said he was "sticking up for his mate Crutcher" over the alleged elbowing.

Snowden, Crutcher, Richards and Hilder have entered guilty pleas to affray charges. All four were affected by alcohol.

Crutcher, Richards and Hilder are yet to be sentenced.

In Gosford District Court yesterday Snowden appealed against a minimum nine-month jail sentence imposed by Gosford Local Court magistrate Alan Railton in April.

Judge Roy Ellis said the assault was serious and the footage of young men kicking and punching an unconscious man on the ground "raises the ire".

But he accepted Snowden had no prior offences and reduced his sentence to a 12-month intensive correction order without a jail term.

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