Man’s head bashed with hammer in brutal ‘revenge attack’
THE victim of a brutal "revenge attack" in Darwin, who was bashed in the head with a hammer, died the next day from health complications, a court has heard.
Victor Rhodes, 25, Klause Jeffrey, 28, and Andrew Sutton, 20, all pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for the aggravated assault of a 31-year-old man the group set upon on November 1, 2018.
The court heard the three men attacked the victim in the driveway of the Quality Hotel in Jingili just after midnight.
Crown prosecutor David Dalrymple said the trio were searching for the person who had just thrown a rock and broken their car window.
"The trio assumed the rock had been thrown by a group of Aboriginal people sitting outside the hotel," he said.
"They pulled up and the group began to run away. The victim was also running back to the hotel on the driveway when they attacked him.
"Sutton chased him down the driveway, caught up to him and punched the victim and flung him to the ground.
"Rhodes caught up and then kicked him to the face with full force, causing the victim's head to jerk backwards.
"Then Rhodes struck the victim to the head with a hammer two times as he lay on the ground. Jeffrey grabbed the victim by his hair and pulled his head off the ground. He delivered a full-force punch and then a backhand hit to his face."
The court heard the victim sustained multiple lacerations to his head but was able to get up later and walk away.
Throughout the day the 31-year-old became increasingly unwell and at 10.16pm paramedics were called to take him from the hotel he was staying at to the Royal Darwin Hospital, where later he died at 8.40pm on the following day.
His official cause of death was congestive heart failure and was not related to his head injuries.
Justice Judith Kelly described the incident as "a revenge attack on somebody that they had no real reason to suppose was even involved in throwing the rock".