Friday, 9 May 2008

Lighter sentence in transvestite attack

A man jailed for seven years for his assault on a transvestite has had his sentence reduced to five years in the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal.

But Quentin Dwayne McCrae, 29, of Pakenham, who was sentenced on December 1, 2006, will serve just over half that term with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.

The court had previously heard that McCrae met a person he believed to be a woman at a club in Southbank and the pair spent a couple of hours drinking and playing pool together before going back to the complainant's Flinders Street apartment.

After becoming intimate, McCrae realised his partner was actually male and a fight ensued during which the complainant was cut on the chest, arm and torso and received a fractured eye socket and vertebrae.

The victim needed four days in hospital to recover.

McCrae had told police he had acted in self-defence.

Judge Ashley Vincent has described the attack as "savage and sustained" and it was fortunate the complainant was not even more seriously hurt.

But he found that the original sentence of seven years with a non-parole period of four years and six months was "manifestly excessive".

McCrae had put forward 10 reasons why the penalty was too severe, including that the sentencing judge had erred in her assessment of his prospects of rehabilitation, had given insufficient weight to his guilty plea and had erred in finding that he had shown no remorse.

Judge Vincent said the sentencing judge also erred in finding that McCrae had shown contempt for the complainant.

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