A Toowoomba man has been released on parole over an attack on a man who thought he was on a date.
A Toowoomba man has been released on parole over an attack on a man who thought he was on a date.

Man’s romantic date ‘set-up’ for attack

ROMANCE was on his mind but a man's late night rendezvous with a woman turned into an ambush, with three men attacking him out of nowhere.

An Ipswich court heard the victim was chased down the street and attacked by the men, in an incident that had all the hallmarks of a set-up.

One of the offenders was named in court as Ayuel Auyel, a former abattoir worker, who took part in the incident but denied having any part in its planning.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess pointed out to Auyel that he still got into the car uninvited and took part in the assault.

Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court from jail via video-link, Ayuel Auyel, 27, from Toowoomba, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm when in company of others at Redbank Plains on December 5, 2019.

Prosecuted by a legal officer from the Director of Public Prosecutions, the court was told that Auyel has amassed a 17-page criminal history that included crimes of violence, and had been sentenced four times previously in serious matters before the District Court.

He had twice been before the court for assaults on women.

The prosecutor said the 36-year-old male victim did not know his attackers, but through his work met a woman and arranged through text messages to meet her.

He did not give the woman his home address and instead arranged to meet her at night at the end of a nearby street in Redbank Plains.

He saw the woman walking down the street with three males and pulled his car over.

As she got into the car the three males suddenly ran across the street and got into the back seat, with the woman saying she wanted him to get money from an ATM.

The frightened man ran from his car but was chased by the three males.

One of the men caught up with him and pinned him to the ground by sitting on his chest with the other two joining in.

A passing driver saw what was happening and called triple-0.

The woman and three males ran away but the police and dog squad tracked down the four offenders 400m from the scene.

Two of the males surrendered but the woman and another male ran off.

The victim suffered grazes and bruises to his face and hands, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.

The prosecutor said while Auyel was not the man who punched the victim in the face, he was party to the assault.

The crime was viewed by the prosecution as being at the lower end and the Crown sought a 12 month jail penalty with release to parole as Ayuel had already spent seven months in jail.

Ms Sturgess asked why the offence should be considered as low-end when it was "clearly a set up".

When she asked what had happened to the co-accused, the prosecutor said the woman involved had been "cautioned" and a co-accused would be sentenced on June 10.

There had been issues in police identifying the third male involved.

"He has significant criminal history for violence," Ms Sturgess said.

Defence lawyer Nathan Bouchier, who has previously represented Auyel in other unrelated charges, said he did not take part in the actual violence or deliver a punch.

"He (as a child) was with his family in a refugee camp in Kenya and witnessed quite a lot of tribal violence," Mr Bouchier said.

"He arrived here aged 11 or 12. The rest of his family has done quite well here."

Ms Sturgess said his 17 pages of criminal history was quite concerning, and included assaults and burglary. She noted that his latest offence occurred just four months after he was given parole.

She said one of the men in the back seat grabbed the victim around the neck and told the driver to give him his keys and wallet.

"I'm told (by your lawyer) you did not know these people and were not part of any plan. You had plenty of opportunity to remove yourself," Ms Sturgess said.

"You had no reason to chase him or involve yourself in the assault.

"There is no excuse in saying you did not know and that you just got caught up in it."

Ms Sturgess sentenced Auyel to an 18-month jail term. With seven months already spent in jail he was given immediate parole.

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