22/10/19 Sam Walker leaves the Melbourne magistrates court on bail after he successfully lodged an appeal to his 6 month conviction. Aaron Francis/The Australian
22/10/19 Sam Walker leaves the Melbourne magistrates court on bail after he successfully lodged an appeal to his 6 month conviction. Aaron Francis/The Australian

‘Be ashamed’: Judge lashes footy thug over sickening attack

A footy thug involved in the vicious bashing of two AFL fans following a match near the MCG in 2018 has had his jail term slashed.

Sam Walker, 26, the son of prominent Melbourne barrister, Tim Walker QC, today had two months knocked off his six-month jail term following a lengthy appeal in the County Court of Victoria.

It will be his first time behind bars and means he will join his brother, Dominic Walker, 28, who was also locked up over the vicious attack.

Sam Walker stood in the dock as his father hugged him and his mum gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek after sentencing.

Judge Michael Tinney told the court he felt obliged to reduce Sam Walker's sentence based on parity arguments put forward by his defence.

The court heard he played the least role in the brutal attack, which also involved friend, Benjamin Fitt, 28, who received a four month jail term.

The judge said Fitt's jail term was "manifestly inadequate" but he had to take it into account when sentencing Sam Walker.

"I feel my obligation to reduce the sentence here and I don't pretend I am happy to do so," the judge said.

"I am doing so entirely due to (the argument of) parity. I cannot wave away Fitt's four month term and ignore it.

"I am in this position regrettably."

Sam Walker, son of Tim Walker QC, arrives at the Melbourne County Court for his appeal over a six-month jail term. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Sam Walker, son of Tim Walker QC, arrives at the Melbourne County Court for his appeal over a six-month jail term. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

Defence lawyer Dermot Dann had argued his client should spend no time behind bars and instead be given a community corrections order.

But the judge said prison was required to denounce the "extraordinary" violence.

"These events could have so easily ended in the death of a man," the judge said.

He said the attack was "deeply disturbing" and watching vision of it was "quite sickening".

"You were in a totally dominant position throughout and (your victim) totally defenceless," the judge said.

"There was no return blow from either man in the footage.

"It is most fortunate this did not lead to a facility or more serious injuries."

Judge Tinney said Sam Walker, who had bipolar disorder, had good prospects of rehabilitation and was clearly remorseful for his actions.

Dominic Walker leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 30. Picture: AAP
Dominic Walker leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 30. Picture: AAP

But it was important such acts of violence were punished, he said.

"Violence on the street, in particular around sporting venues, must not be tolerated" he said.

"Those who engage in it must not expect leniency.

"What can be seen in that vision must be stamped out."

Dominic Walker, the key aggressor, abandoned his appeal against his 12-month jail term over the drunken bashing on Monday.

The decision was made after the judge warned it could backfire and he risked being sentenced to more time behind bars.

Benjamin Fitt arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 22. Picture: AAP
Benjamin Fitt arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 22. Picture: AAP

Fitt chose not to appeal his four month jail term.

The sentences were handed down in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court last October.

Judge Tinney said the magistrate was "extremely merciful" in sentencing the men and the case should never have been heard at the lower court.

The judge described Dominic Walker's actions as almost "murderous" and that he would have doubled his jail term if it were heard in his court.

He described Fitt's sentence as "extraordinary" and that he would have locked him up for 18 months.

"I judge it as entirely inadequate," he said.

Judge Tinney sat with an open mouth as he watched graphic vision of the trio punching, kicking and stomping on victims, Len Tricarico, 44, and David Raeside, 61, on the road outside the Pullman Hotel in East Melbourne on September 7, 2018.

The trio and victims had all attended the MCG to watch the Hawthorn v Richmond match.

Each of the five men were intoxicated.

Sam Walker will join his brother Dominic in prison over a vicious attack at a taxi rank. Picture: Ian Currie
Sam Walker will join his brother Dominic in prison over a vicious attack at a taxi rank. Picture: Ian Currie

The conflict started when one of the offenders kicked Raeside to the thigh near a taxi rank.

Mr Raeside and Mr Tricarico retreated but later returned to the taxi rank where the Walker brothers were seated inside a cab and Fitt ready to walk home.

Mr Tricarico grabbed Fitt by the shirt and the Walker brothers jumped out of the cab to defend their friend.

"This is the most unwise decision you have made in your life," Judge Tinney said.

Sam Walker repeatedly punched Mr Tricarico, who laid defenceless on his back, as his brother stomped and punched Mr Raeside on Wellington Rd.

Fitt attacked both men before the trio walked away, leaving Mr Raeside unconscious on the road.

"This was a joint attack" the judge said.

He said there was "no justification" for the level of violence and that Sam Walker should be ashamed.

Mr Raeside sustained a brain haemorrhage and facial fractures while Mr Tricarico was diagnosed with a left wrist injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fitt will be released from prison in weeks.

Dominic Walker will serve a further eight months in jail.

Each of the men were ordered to complete a two-year community correction order and will be banned from entering licensed premises for a year following their release.

A County Court judge said he would’ve given Dominic Walker 18-months’ jail for the sickening attack if it was dealt with in his court. Picture: Ian Currie
A County Court judge said he would’ve given Dominic Walker 18-months’ jail for the sickening attack if it was dealt with in his court. Picture: Ian Currie