'Forced apology' wasn't enough

A MAN, who plucked a miner from a mine shaft to make him apologise for an argument with a girl, later broke into the miner's Gemfields home to bash him.

Gregory Herbert Woodman, aged 22 when he committed the offences, has lost his appeal against an 18-month jail sentence, with parole in November, after he has served six months behind bars.

The incident arose after the victim, 24, was involved in an incident with a woman at Rubyvale Hotel on May 16, last year.

Woodman decided the "forced apology" the next day was not enough and went with a juvenile to the miner's house at night to confront him.

The intruders punched him, threatened him with an axe handle and knife and told him they would kill him if he told anyone about their visit.

"If you tell anyone I'll kill you, if you're ever digging we can drop a rock on you," Woodman said.

They returned soon after with another two people but he called out to his neighbour for help and they fled.

The victim had to ride his bicycle 600m to phone police because he did not have his own phone.

Woodman's legal team argued in the Court of Appeal that the sentencing judge at Emerald had been unduly influenced by comparative home invasion cases and the sentence was manifestly excessive.

Justice Margaret White, with agreement from two other justices, said personal and general deterrence was important and the sentence was within range.

"This court has regularly condemned the conduct of offenders which involved a home invasion, particularly with aspects of self-help or vigilantism," she said.

"The number of cases coming before the courts is such that general deterrence continues to be of particular significance even where it is unlikely the offender will re-offend.

"The persistence of (Woodman) who busied himself in another's slight tended to modify the submission that these were just young men 'winding each other up'."


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