Promising law student jailed for beating up cop and wife after developing cannabis addiction

How a promising law student developed a cannabis addiction that led to a life of crime before being jailed for beating up a police officer and assaulting a woman with a HAMMER

  • Wiaa Puot, 25, studied law at Victoria University before life went down
  • Started smoking ‘increasing’ amounts of cannabis, turned into a life of crime life
  • In 2020, he beat a police officer and a woman he tried to carjackjack

A promising Melbourne law student who beat up a police officer and a woman and then tried to steal two cars while in drug-induced psychosis has been jailed.

Wiaa Puot, 25, studied law at Victoria University, did an internship with the National Australia Bank and contributed to community music groups when his life collapsed in late 2019.

Overwhelmed by this pressure, he began to smoke more and more cannabis, a drug he first started using after suffering a serious back injury while playing basketball three years earlier.

Puot, the son of South Sudanese refugees, then lost his prized banking internship and was cut off from his music groups.

Faced with nothing but free time, his drug use grew in December 2019, with him smoking about two grams of cannabis every day.

Wiaa Puot, 25, studied law at Victoria University, did an internship with the National Australia Bank and contributed to community music groups when his life collapsed in late 2019.

The aspiring lawyer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after beating up a police officer and a woman in a car that was jacked up with a hammer in Victoria (stock image)

The aspiring lawyer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after beating up a police officer and a woman in a car that was jacked up with a hammer in Victoria (stock image)

Puot began to hear voices in his head, while his relatives would watch him awake all night, looking out the window. He felt paranoid and trusted no one.

The 25-year-old was then gripped by violent desires and believed he had a ‘special role to play’ and had to pass certain ‘tests’.

Puot robbed a bottle shop in Abbotsford in February 2020 while armed with a hammer.

The violent outburst continued days later when he attempted to rob a Richmond McDonald’s restaurant and steal two different cars, attacking several people.

Police arrested him at his girlfriend’s home in Avondale Heights and he was brought in for questioning.

After giving a “no comment” response, Puot threw a chair at a police officer when they were in a room together before beating the man for just over two minutes, receiving at least a dozen punches to the head.

The police officer was taken to hospital and suffered large bruises to his face, cuts to his lower lip, stress fractures and chipped teeth.

Another victim needed 11 stitches to close a wound to her head after Puot hit her with the back of a hammer while trying to steal her car.

Puot faced a Victorian County Court on Thursday, where he was sentenced to three years in prison.

He pleaded guilty to nine charges, including intentional injury, assault, armed robbery and attempted aggravated carjacking.

Judge George Georgiou said the 25-year-old’s violent crime was caused by paranoid psychosis and his moral guilt was significantly lessened by this mental state.

A police officer in Victoria was taken to hospital with severe facial bruising, cuts to his lower lip, stress fractures and chipped teeth after being attacked by Wiaa Puot in 2020 (stock image)

A police officer in Victoria was taken to hospital with severe facial bruising, cuts to his lower lip, stress fractures and chipped teeth after being attacked by Wiaa Puot in 2020 (stock image)

Puot, who has no criminal record, suffered from auditory hallucinations, the judge added, and was “severely unwell” at the time.

“It is difficult to understand how you came to these crimes,” Judge Georgiou said.

“Your is an unusual case and my findings may not be of much comfort to the victims.”

Judge Georgiou also said Puot had good prospects for rehabilitation, had strong family support and had displayed excellent character prior to the crime.

He must serve at least one year and six months in prison before being eligible for parole.

Advertisement

.