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Attorney-General will appeal sentence of cabbie bashers

Hervey Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West.
Hervey Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West. Alistair Brightman

QUEENSLAND'S Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie will appeal against the sentence of two Hervey Bay teens who bashed a 64-year-old taxi driver after a night of drinking.

Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen took the case to the Attorney-General after being approached by a Fraser Coast taxi driver concerned about a sentence that allowed both teens to leave court without spending any time in jail.

Mr Sorensen said discussions were held late on Thursday with Mr Bleijie on whether an appeal for a harsher sentence would be lodged.

Steve Robert Drobny and Nathan Edward Tulungi Levy, both 19, were sentenced in Hervey Bay District Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to the July 6 assault.

The court was told the men both punched and kicked the driver several times after he got out of the taxi to close one of the car doors left open by the offenders.

The driver had threatened to take them to the police station after overhearing a frantic discussion between the teens on how they would pay the fare.

Drobny was ordered to do 150 hours of community service.

Levy was sentenced to 30 months in jail but was granted immediate parole.

The fellow driver who approached Mr Sorensen labelled the sentencing disgusting and said a harsher sentence would have made people out late at night think twice about harassing or hurting taxi drivers.

"They (the offenders) laid into him until he couldn't stand up," the taxi driver said.

Mr Sorensen said if the offenders had been sober during the attack, they would have likely been sent to prison.

"It shouldn't be an excuse, to say that you're drunk," he said.

"What's the difference at the end of the day?

"People need to take responsibility."

Hervey Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West declined to comment on whether alcohol-related violence was an issue for taxi drivers on the Fraser Coast.

However, he commended Mr Sorensen for trying to improve the situation by bringing this case to the attention of the Attorney-General.

Topics:  hervey bay district court, hervey bay mp, ted sorensen



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