Cruel friends who punched a man who cut for them on a Covid test line learn their fate
- Men attacked a couple in the Covid test line
- Both have been sentenced to prison
- Magistrate quashed the “cowardly” attack
Two mates who beat and stomped a couple while they waited in a Covid test line have been convicted of the ‘cowardly and vicious’ attack.
Hussein Saleh, 34, and Ali Salim, 35, appeared in Sutherland Local Court on Friday over the attack, which took place on December 28, 2021, in the southern Sydney suburb of Carlton.
Both pleaded guilty to assault involving actual bodily harm and common assault. Saleh also pleaded guilty to property destruction.
The court heard the incident started after Saleh’s wife cut into line in front of a LandCruiser Prado.
The couple in the LandCruiser had been waiting for three hours and angrily got out and approached her.
They then returned to their car and beeped Saleh’s wife, who called her husband.
Saleh arrived with Salim, whom he knew from high school, and they tried to smash the driver’s window with a screwdriver.
They then broke the rear-view mirror on the driver’s side and climbed on top of the vehicle.
He then stomped through the sunroof onto the driver and passenger, raining punches down on them.
Salim managed to get into the back seat of the LandCruiser where he hit the driver on the head causing injury.
During the attack, the LandCruiser rolled forward and collided with the rear of the Lexus containing Saleh’s wife and also his mother, and the collision shunted other cars into each other.
Magistrate Hugh Donnelly described the footage as ‘shocking’ and said the attack was ‘cowardly and brutal’, carried out with ‘a high degree of force’.
“The victim suffered multiple injuries to the head and face in a retaliatory attack,” he said the Daily Telegraph.
“The attack was persistent, ferocious and prolonged. The victims were trapped, trapped and defenseless… and it happened without warning.”
Hussein Saleh can be seen climbing onto the roof of a Prado to launch as an attack on the driver of the vehicle waiting in line for Covid testing in Sydney in 2021
Magistrate Donnelly rejected evidence from Saleh’s wife, who claimed that the victim got out of his car several times to yell and yell at her and smash her car and window.
The magistrate said her claims were not supported by CCTV footage or other evidence.
The court heard that Saleh, a contractor, was remorseful and understood that the couple would have been scared.
Character references said that Saleh’s actions were “out of character” and that he was not a violent person.
Mr. Donnelly noted that both men were at low risk of recidivism and had no or limited criminal history.
However, he ruled there was no option but to sentence the men to stints behind bars.
Saleh was sentenced to 22 months in prison with a non-parole period of 14 months, while Salim was sentenced to 18 months in prison with a non-parole period of 11 months.
Saleh pleaded guilty to the sickening attack in which he stamped and punched a driver and passenger
Saleh and Salim will be eligible for parole in July and April 2024, respectively.
The men applied for bail after their lawyer appealed the verdict to the district court.
Magistrate Donnelly granted bail to Salim, noting that there was a chance his sentence could be modified to be served in the community.
But he did not believe that Saleh’s sentence would change on appeal and rejected his application.
This was despite the court hearing that his wife was pregnant and due to give birth next month.