Man who smashed glass in barman's face has sentence reduced

Srdan Simic, found guilty of partially blinding a barman in an unprovoked attacked has had his prison sentence cut by one year by the Appeals Court

Man who smashed glass in barman's face has prison sentence reduced by one year
Man who smashed glass in barman's face has prison sentence reduced by one year

Srdan Simic had been sentenced to five years in prison but the Appeals Court has now decided to shear the prison term by one year.

The 24-year-old Serbian had been charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Ryan Magro, a barman at Munchies in 2017.

Magro, a well known musician, sustained eye injuries from the pint glass to his face, which resulted in a 30% permanent disability.

Simic appealed the sentence claiming that there were serious elements of prejudice surrounding his case on the basis of him being foreign. For this reason, he claimed, he did not benefit from a right to a fair hearing.

He also said that the victim’s blindness wasn’t on account of a sharp and pointed weapon as was said by the prosecution, therefore sentencing him for using such a weapon was invalid.

“It’s true that a drinking glass, when unbroken and when used for its designated aims, is not a regular sharp weapon. In this case, however, the accused did not use it for its main purpose but he used it in the context of aggression,” the court said, adding that in the course of events, it had become a weapon.

The court insisted that it had been the shards of glass that had attached themselves to the victim’s retina.

Captain Nigel Bruno from the Corradino Correctional Facility testified and described Simic as “an exemplary prisoner” who fully cooperated with prison officials. He continued to say that Simic had vastly improved in his behaviour and joined the food factory programme in prison.

“It’s clear that Simic has the wish to learn and to occupy his time working on himself,” Bruno said.

On the basis of this testimony, Simic claimed that the sentence of five years in prison he was dealt by the first court was too “grievous a punishment.” 

The court referred to medical reports and the victim’s testimony and said that the victim still had small pieces of glass in his eye to this day and this will remain the case for the rest of his life.

“The actions of the accused, to smash a pint glass in the victim’s face for no reason at all, has unduly ruined Magro’s life. The appellant can’t just expect a slap on the wrist in this case,” the court said.

The defence counter-argued that Simic had recognised his mistake in the sense that he wasn’t appealing the sentence that had found him guilty but rather the length of the punishment.

“The fact that the victim didn’t completely lose his eyesight makes a five-year prison sentence excessive,” the defence said.

The court replied that the method used to hurt Magro could have potentially resulted in a worse injury and had ultimately resulted in a very grave offence where the victim was permanently disabled because of it, losing between 70% and 80% of his eyesight from one eye and 20% of his eyesight when considering both eyes.

The court did consider, however, the testimony of the prison official and said that it would always aim to encourage a person who has understood his responsibilities and wants to do better.

“In this case, and for this reason, there is room for tempering with the final sentence to reflect the balance between the resulting circumstance and the reason and effects of punishment,” the court said, adding that there was a clear distinction between preventive justice and retributive justice and that in moderating the sentence, the court would attempt to find a balance between the two.

The court decided to moderate Simic’s punishment to four years in prison as opposed to five. 

Aaron Bugeja was presiding judge.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto was defence counsel.

More in Court & Police