‘Enforcer’ a changed man, but jailed for violent assaults

FOUR years ago Alex Muir was a 17-year-old street kid who considered himself the "enforcer" for a group of three teenage criminals out to settle a reported $10 debt at a Mount Morgan hotel.

Armed with a crowbar, Muir attacked a man at The Leichhardt Hotel, striking the victim three times to the head and body.

Yesterday, Muir, 21, told the Rockhampton District Court he was a changed man from the one involved in this February 2009 attack and another violent assault in March, 2010 where he used a stick to hit a person, who already had a broken rib, in the stomach in what was termed a "vigilante" act.

Muir's legal representative, Ross Lo Monaco, said his client had stayed away from trouble for the past 12 months, was now living at the home of his girlfriend's mother, where he was subjected to regular drug tests, and had casual work as a bricklayer.

Both the girlfriend's mother, who was in court, his boss and probation officer provided supportive references attesting to this change.

An emotional Muir couldn't hold the tears back as Judge Paul Smith sentenced him to three years jail, with a parole release date after 12 months, for his earlier crimes.

Last week Muir, who had an extensive criminal history, was found guilty of burglary while armed and in company and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company in relation to the Leichhardt Hotel incident.

At his sentencing yesterday he also pleaded guilty to one further charge of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company for the 2010 incident.

Crown prosecutor Russell Hood said Muir used a crowbar to strike the victim in the face without warning at the hotel.

"The defendant at the time considered himself someone not to be messed with," Mr Hood said.

In the second incident the court heard one of Muir's friends believed the victim had earlier been through his auntie's home. The group had gone to confront the person at his home.

Mr Lo Monaco said Muir's behaviour was that of a "young, immature man who has not had the proper upbringing".

"He was a young bloke living on the streets," Mr Lo Monaco said. "He had to be tough to survive."

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