Friday, 7 November 2008

Youth gets three years for manslaughter

EJC, today was sentenced to three years in a Youth Justice Centre by Victorian Supreme Court Justice Robert Osborn.

Ryan "Jack" Ellis, 17, fractured his skull and suffered a brain injury after he was hit at a party in October 2006.

The punch caused him to fall backwards and strike his head on the footpath.

He died two days later in hospital.

Last month, a Supreme Court jury found EJC guilty of Ryan's manslaughter.

The court was told the punch came at the end of an 18th birthday party attended by about 100 people, most of whom were drinking alcohol.

Prior to the punch, Ryan, who was upset about an incident at a party three weeks earlier, confronted EJC calling him a "c*** of a bloke", the court was told.

Justice Osborn said EJC stepped forward, grabbed Ryan by the collar and delivered "one or two" blows to his face.

The judge said he was satisfied the punch was not a forceful one but more of a "jab from the shoulder".

But he said the punch was dangerous because of poor lighting and the footpath next to where the teenagers were standing.

"It was you who chose to come to grips with Ellis. However abusive his language he had offered you no violence," said Justice Osborn.

Justice Osborn said tragically the punch had caused the death of a teenager.

"A young man with the same promise of full adult life, which you and the other young people at the party shared," he said.

"There can be no crueller loss to a parent, than the inversion of the natural orders of things, involved in the loss of a loved son."

Justice Osborn said EJC's sentence needed to reflect the fact that the community regarded fighting between young men as "senseless and totally unacceptable".

EJC has already served 29 days in custody.

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