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Violent African refugee loses appeal over sentence for savage Melbourne mugging that left stranger with a severed ear

A violent African refugee has lost his bid to appeal his two-year sentence for a savage phone robbery that left his victim lying bleeding in the street unconscious and with a slashed face and severed ear in Melbourne.

Jok Gar, 21, has also had his visa cancelled since being sentenced for the mugging, a violent attack on his own sisters in Geelong West, and the brutal unprovoked bashing of another stranger in Melbourne’s CBD on New Year’s Day 2022 which left that man with multiple skull and facial fractures.

The Supreme Court of Victoria heard on Friday that Gar had approached the mugging victim at 1am on September 6, 2022, near the corner of Spring Street and Victoria Parade along with co-offender Tyler De Silva, who has an IQ of 48.

When the man refused to hand over his phone and wallet, Gar and De Silva attacked him.

“During the attack, the victim was slashed with a knife across his right cheek, causing his right ear lobe to be partly severed,” Justices Karin Emerton and David Beach wrote.

Gar was given two years’ jail while De Silva got six months due to his intellectual disability and other diagnoses.

But Gar appealed due to the differenced between the two sentences, and on the grounds that due to his visa cancellation a new sentence should be imposed.

Justices Emerton and Beach found that Gar, who was born in Egypt to a Sudanese family and arrived in Australia when he was six, could still appeal the visa cancellation, and said: “We see no good reason to reduce it on the ground that the visa cancellation will make the applicant’s imprisonment more burdensome.”

They also found that Gar’s original sentence was “lenient”, his offending was “dangerous and callous”, and said his prospects for rehabilitation were “very poor”.

They also took into account Gar’s violent behaviour while behind bars, including stomping one prisoner and punching another, and pouring milk and urine underneath the cell door of another inmate.

A forensic psychologist said Gar was beaten as a child, was subject to racial slurs both in Egypt and in Australia, and described himself as a violent kid before being expelled from school in Year 10, before going on to sell drugs.

He was given antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication in prison but refused to continue with them as they made him feel “numbed”.

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