A South Australian judge has ordered a young boy to suffer house arrest for a one-second blow in a single round for excessive self-defense against an “experienced fighter” who had taken drugs and worked himself “in a “frenzy” near the Adelaide nightclub bar in 2018.
- Grantham kicked his victim as he was getting up from another blow
- The victim was in a drugged “frenzy” and was looking for fights at night
- The judge found that Grantham’s “only” conduct was considered excessive
District Court Judge Joana Fuller found victim Jonathan Allen Ridge who suffered permanent brain damage was a “danger” and had provoked fights accidentally along Hindley Street on September 23, 2018.
Jordan Timothy Grantham, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault causing serious damage and faced a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison.
Prosecutors admitted Grantham was acting in self-defense when he kicked Mr. Ridge but his actions were excessive.
Judge Fuller described Grantham’s case as “unique” given the threat he faced from his victim.
She imposed a two-year and one-month sentence with a non-parole period of six months, ordering that she be held in house arrest.
She said she was unable to suspend the sentence given by the laws introduced by Parliament.
The victim was in a dangerous “frenzy”
Judge Fuller said Mr Ridge was a “clear and present danger to anyone who was so unfortunate as to become the target of his desire for drugs and alcohol to fight”.
“He [Ridge] chose his victims at random and struck with the skill and accuracy of an experienced warrior. “He knew how to fight and he knew how to hit someone with a single blow,” she said.
“Anyone watching him tonight would have readily appreciated that he was violent, that he was unpredictable and that he was capable of causing serious harm.
“You saw him knock your friend unconscious, you saw him twice attacking a man in a black T-shirt and you saw him advancing on your friend.
“At that stage, he would look unstoppable.”
Judge Fuller said Mr Ridge had consumed alcohol and six MDMA tablets that night and was seeking a brawl, first challenging a group of men in a car park before anyone showed him a firearm.
She said he then knocked Grantham’s friend unconscious on Hindley Street, before Grantham and another friend, who could not be named for legal reasons, pursued Mr Ridge on the street.
Judge Fuller said Grantham raised the alarm with security guards along the strip none of whom were unprepared to help.
“Evidence shows that Ridge was working on his own in a rage. Two people were known victims of his attack,” she said.
Another war breaks out
Judge Fuller said that while the two groups were in Crippen Place, a quarrel broke out and both Grantham and his friend kicked Mr Ridge as he was getting up from an early kick.
She said Grantham knew Mr Ridge was falling behind, so he reached out to try and break his fall an action the judge found to support allegations he had no intention of harming his victim.
The court heard Mr. Ridge hit his head on the ground, causing permanent brain damage.
In her reasons for sentencing, Judge Fuller said if she had been setting the facts, she would have found it difficult to see Grantham’s conduct as excessive.
She said the difference between reasonable and excessive defensive behavior “just falls over the line” in this case.
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