Man who ‘encouraged’ mob to run woman over could face bill
A FORMER soldier who joined an angry mob in running over a Humpty Doo woman with a car may be forced to pay her wages for a year after the injuries she suffered left her unable to work.
Matthew Wilkinson, 44, and his son Bailey Wilkinson, 20, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to causing serious harm and trespass for their role in the melee in late 2018.
The court heard the pair repeatedly beat a man with poles and baseball bats while he lay on the ground in "revenge" for an earlier altercation before getting in the car and encouraging the driver to run the woman over.
Justice Judith Kelly sentenced Matthew Wilkinson to six years and 10 months in prison and Bailey Wilkinson to four years in jail, suspended immediately after having served more than a year in custody since his arrest.
But Justice Kelly reserved a decision on whether to order Matthew Wilkinson to compensate the woman for a year's worth of lost wages as a result of her injuries.
"It does seem to me that if Mr Wilkinson senior in particular has got resources and has caused that degree of financial harm to the victim in addition to the physical and emotional harm, he should pay," she said.
The Wilkinsons' lawyer, Lyma Nguyen, said her clients were struggling to pay off a mortgage on their house but Justice Kelly said it was likely there was still "some equity in it".
"I'm firmly of the view that you don't cause that sort of harm to somebody - which involves financial harm to the extent of losing income for 12 months - and then say 'Ah yes but I need my house, my wages, my asset, my car'," she said.
"You pay your debts first don't you?"
Justice Kelly said she didn't accept Matthew Wilkinson's assertions he was remorseful.
If prosecutors elect to seek restitution for the lost wages, Justice Kelly will hear arguments on the question at a date to be fixed.
Matthew Wilkinson will be eligible for parole in 2022.