Man jailed over unprovoked CBD attack
A thug who joined his son in a brutal and “completely unprovoked” attack on a defenceless stranger in the CBD has been jailed for 12 years.
Jared Pihlgren, 53, pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally causing serious injury during a Victorian County Court sitting on April 13.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Helen Syme told Pihlgren that because of his actions in the “ferocious” attack, the victim’s life had been “detrimentally affected”.
“It was only through rapid intervention of medical attention at hospital including surgery that Mr Kim did not die,” Judge Syme said.
The court heard the victim, Jingu Kim, then aged 35, was walking home along Lonsdale St at around 12.30am on December 16, 2021, after a night out at a karaoke bar when he was approached by Pihlgren and his 23-year-old son, Jay Stephens.
Stephens began arguing with the victim before throwing multiple punches to Mr Kim’s head and upper body.
The court heard Mr Kim tried to defend himself but could not escape the three-minute violent attack from Stephens, in which Pihlgren “hovered close by”.
The incident, which was captured on CCTV, resulted in the pair going to the ground before Stephens pulled a knife from his bum bag and stabbed Mr Kim in the back “causing a deep puncture wound that penetrated through to his lung”, Judge Syme said.
“He immediately staggered but was still trying to defend himself,” Judge Syme said.
The court heard Stephens then forcefully used the knife across the back of Mr Kim’s head “in a slashing motion” that caused the victim to flop to the ground and lay motionless on the footpath.
Seven seconds later, while the victim was bleeding heavily and barely moving, Stephens “forcibly stomped” on the side of Mr Kim’s head.
Pihlgren and his son were seen walking away on CCTV while Mr Kim showed “no signs of consciousness”, the court heard.
Minutes later, bystanders came to the aid of Mr Kim and called an ambulance.
The court heard Mr Kim’s condition was life-threatening, in which he suffered serious head and spine injuries, a sustained, sharp trauma to his torso and hand, heart failure and significant lung collapse.
In a victim impact statement, the court heard Mr Kim was in a coma for three days, and has since suffered from continued pain in his body, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and panic attacks.
“As a result, every aspect of his life has been detrimentally affected,” Judge Syme said.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Syme said, “From the commencement, the attack was completely unprovoked.”
“You joined in and made the attack even more one-sided – two against one. You were armed with a knife,” Judge Syme told Pihlgren.
Your actions markedly increased the violence and seriousness of the offending.
Judge Syme told Pihlgren, a father of five, that: “You do not present as the ideal parent.”
Judge Syme set Pihlgren, who has a criminal history, a non-parole period of eight years after reducing it because of his guilty plea.
Stephens will be sentenced in May.