A young western Sydney father who bashed two men in the Wollongong CBD during a drunken night out with friends has narrowly avoided time behind bars.
Dion Edmonds, 21, was on parole for a robbery when he carried out the seemingly unprovoked attack in the Crown Street Mall in the early hours of January 19 this year, knocking at least one of the men to the ground after cornering him near the Uniting Church and delivering a series of punches to his head.
However, the identities of both victims and the extent of their injuries, if any, remains unknown as the pair did not report the incident to police.
Edmonds was identified through high quality CCTV footage and charged with affray, to which he pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court on Friday.
Defence lawyer Justine Hall said Edmonds had viewed the footage and felt "sickened" by his actions that night.
"It's often said nothing good happens after midnight and this is definitely the case here," she said.
"He'd been drinking for 12 hours and was highly intoxicated....he's disgusted with himself and wants to apologise to the victims.
Ms Hall said Edmonds was at a loss to explain his violent behaviour and had since given up alcohol, acknowledging that he "couldn't risk one drink turning into ten".
She also said he had become a father for the first time in April, which had changed his perspective on life.
She urged the court to spare Edmonds a full-time prison sentence despite his poor criminal record.
However, police prosecutor Sergeant Robert Casey called for Edmonds to be jailed, saying a strong message needed to be sent to the community that such behaviour would not be tolerated.
"This is another example of a drunken, violent attack on innocent bystanders in the Wollongong CBD," he said.
"The victims were seen backing away, putting their hands in the air, doing nothing to provoke the situation and they were attacked."
Magistrate Claire Girotto agreed to spare Edmonds jail time based on his current, pro-social circumstances and instead sentenced him to a 12-month, community-based intensive corrections order.
"The reason I'm not sending you in [is because] you now have a child and you've stopped drinking - perhaps this is the turning point in your life," she said.
"You need to be a role model for your son."
Documents tendered to the court reveal the mall's cameras captured Edmonds interacting with a group of people, which included the two victims, near the church building just after 2am.
He initially appeared aggressive, at one stage removing his shirt, however then calmed down, put his shirt back on and walked off.
Edmonds was seen approaching the victims again a short time later.
The footage captures Edmonds' friends corner the two victims before Edmonds punches them both in the face multiple times.
Edmonds and his group then leave the scene.
They were stopped a 10 minutes later near the intersection of Crown and Atchison streets, at which time Edmonds gave police false name, address and date of birth details.
Officers had only brief details of the incident and subsequently allowed Edmonds to leave the scene after giving him a formal move-on direction.
He was later formally identified through the CCTV footage and issued with a future court attendance notice.