THREE men who preyed on a teenage couple in a street robbery have been slammed as cowards by a judge.
Bundaberg District Court was told the robbery and attack was so vicious it left victim Benjamin Lloyd-Jones with fractured facial bones.
Bernard Charles Jarman, 29, Nathan Lee Beljon, 28, and Daniel James Mason, 27, were on their way home on September 4, 2010 just after midnight when they came up behind Mr Lloyd-Jones and girlfriend Sarah Durrant, both aged 19.
Jarman asked the couple for a cigarette and, after being told they did not smoke, he became aggressive and threw a punch at Mr Lloyd-Jones that did not connect.
"The male complainant did nothing to provoke this," Judge Michael Rackemann said.
"Beljon went around to distract the complainant, which gave Jarman a chance to throw a punch which connected."
The judge said despite Miss Durrant's desperate pleas to leave her boyfriend alone, the pair continued to attack him, leaving him with fractures to his face that required surgery in Brisbane.
"Mason, as you'd expect from a coward, did not try to stop what was happening," Judge Rackemann said.
Instead, while the girl was distracted trying to help her boyfriend, he stole her purse.
The judge said once the girl was able to phone police for help, the three men "ran away, being the cowards and bullies they were".
Barrister Kim Bryson appeared for Jarman, a man with a history of violence, and said her client had since stopped using drugs, had entered a relationship and found permanent work.
Barrister Kristy Crabb, for Beljon, said her client had since moved to the Sunshine Coast to distance himself from friends who may lead him astray.
Barrister Peter Richards, for Mason, said his client was a father of two who had recently worked as a courier and concrete pumper.
Jarman, who pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery in company, was sentenced to 18 months jail with immediate parole, taking into account 194 days already spent in custody.
Beljon pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in company and receiving tainted property, and was placed on a 12-month intensive correction order and given a wholly suspended six-month jail term.
Mason pleaded guilty to stealing from a person and was given 10 months jail with immediate parole.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.