Brothers waged 'horrendous and ongoing' assault in brawl
IT BEGAN as a dispute between friends but spiralled into a brawl that left one man with serious injuries.
Brothers Timothy Sean Magarry, 25, Blaine Terrence Magarry, 27, and Michael David Magarry, 34, sat side-by-side in the dock of Lismore District Court during their sentencing hearing on Thursday.
Blaine - known to most as Terry - had pleaded guilty to one charge of affray over the July 16, 2017 incident while his brothers will be sentenced for recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to Karl Sternbeck.
The court heard Mr Sternbeck, who was a friend of Terry's until the incident, had been involved in an argument with one of the Magarrys' three sisters.
Terry said he understood this to be a threat toward his family and confronted Mr Sternbeck via text message, before calling his brother Michael.
Michael and Timothy had been clubbing in Coolangatta, and travelled to nearby Tweed Heads where Terry and Mr Sternbeck were to meet.
In the melee that followed, Terry threw a wine bottle in an apartment, smashing windows.
Michael chased Mr Sternbeck up the stairs, struck him with a golf shaft, and hit him in the face with a bottle.
The fight moved outside and toward the nearby main road, Kennedy Dr, and Timothy struck Mr Sternbeck with a wooden post, also kicking and punching him while he was on the ground.
The court heard Michael punched the victim three times.
Part of the incident was captured on CCTV at a service station, where Mr Sternbeck is seen banging on the door, apparently desperate to get inside.
Mr Sternbeck's injuries included a fractured eye socket, other fractures to his face and ribs and internal bruising.
The Crown prosecutor told the court Michael was "probably the most upfront" in the attacks.
"It was quite horrendous and ongoing," he said.
Michael's barrister, Peter O'Connor, said it was a "terrible incident" and that it was "difficult to disentangle" which injuries were caused by his client and by Timothy.
He drew upon his client's difficult childhood to suggest Judge Dina Yehia should find he had a reduced moral culpability.
"He has genuine remorse and insight into the incident," Mr O'Connor said.
Michael told the court he went to the scene due to "the uncertainty" of what Mr Sternbeck would do and to protect his brother.
He said he felt "disgusted" about the injuries caused.
Timothy told the court he had no intention to get involved in any violence, but was looking out for his brothers.
"It got out of hand," he said.
He said he'd believed Mr Sternbeck was carrying a knife, but the court heard this was a hammer.
His barrister, Ben Cochrane, argued his client was not responsible for head and facial injuries but was liable for spinal, rib and liver injuries.
Mr Cochrane asked Judge Yehia to consider an intensive corrections order.
Terry's barrister, Benjamin Bickford, asked Judge Yehia to consider the lesser penalty of a community corrections order for his client.
"Some of the assaults ... were unquestionably violent," Mr Bickford said.
"It was an ordeal and it spiralled out of control.
"He wasn't involved ... in any act of violence."
The Crown accepted Terry could be seen on the CCTV wrestling with Timothy to disarm him, but argued a custodial sentence would be appropriate.
The men remain on bail and they will be sentenced on Tuesday.