‘Hall of fame stupidity’, says judge in couch-throwing case

TWO men who tossed a couch over a hotel balcony, seriously injuring a woman seated below, have had their sentences slashed on appeal.

Joshua Timoteo, 27, will spend just six months behind bars, while 32-year-old “ringleader” Luke Ledingham will spend an extra two months on top of his co-offender’s sentence.

Despite acknowledging the act at the Good Companions Hotel on March 1 was “hall of fame stupidity”, Judge Colin Charteris cut Timoteo and Ledingham’s prison sentences in half.

It came after a long sentencing hearing in Tamworth District Court yesterday where Crown prosecutor Mark Ferguson tried to have their two-year sentences upheld.

“It was uncaring, completely callous, completely without the regard to the safety (of others),” he argued.

“The community is clamouring for some sort of order.”

The roofing contractors lodged the appeal after they were handed two-year sentences by a local court magistrate in August.

The court was told neither men recalled the incident but Ledingham denied any involvement until CCTV was produced by police implicating him.

The 15kg two-seater couch fell almost 7m, slamming into 43-year-old Brooke Dewberry and seriously injuring her.

Ms Dewberry cannot return to study and has been diagnosed with long-lasting injuries that still affect her life, nine months on from the incident. 

Judge Colin Charteris explored the option of imposing an intensive corrections order (ICO), meaning the men could serve their sentences in the community, but the Crown argued strongly against it.

Mr Ferguson said there were people afraid to go out because of fear of violence in pubs and clubs.

He said the court “would send the wrong message ... that they are treated leniently”, if an ICO was imposed.

“I’m troubled by this categorisation of this drunken stupidity,” he told the court.

“It’s extraordinarily serious, this selfish entitlement to do whatever they want without penalty.”

Their barrister Nicolas Harrison argued any prison sentence would impact on their families and could hinder any future civil damages proceedings.

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