DPP v Zang [2016] VCC 1400

Sentence summary: Intentionally causing injury

In an incident described as car park rage, the offender’s car was blocking access to a restaurant carpark in the middle of the day while the offender chatted with another man standing outside. After the victim tooted his car horn twice and raised his voice the offender moved his vehicle. The victim parked and was walking towards the restaurant with his wife when the man on foot began acting aggressively towards him, first verbally then physically. The offender joined in, slapping, pushing and punching the victim and threatening to kill him. The victim, who kicked back in retaliation, was then stabbed in the stomach by the offender with a 10-centimetre blade. The other man stopped the offender stabbing him a second time before both men walked off, swearing at the victim as they did so.

The offender pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury.

The judge found it was a serious example of the offence. There was no real provocation for the offender’s actions. The victim may have been impatient, but his actions were reasonable. The offender’s response was out of all proportion and he must be punished accordingly.

The judge rejected the considerable delay in the matter reaching court as a mitigating factor in sentencing, as it was a result of the offender trying to avoid deportation to China over his expired visa.

The judge accepted as mitigating factors the offender’s guilty plea, his lack of reoffending during the lengthy time between the offence and sentencing, and good prospects for rehabilitation. She also took into account the mental health issues, poor English skills and social isolation that made imprisonment more difficult for him.

In sentencing there was a real need for the court to denounce his behaviour and to deter both the offender and the general public from such violent actions. People are entitled to their freedom of movement in public places without the threat of harm.

The offender was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 months.

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Page last updated: 30 August 2018