Suspended jail term for man after violent rampage

·3-min read

For more than 20 years, Brisbane was accomplished artist Adis Fejzic's "safe place" after surviving the Bosnian war.

That all changed in October 2021 when Jayden Aoese Sale stabbed him during a "rampage of violent offending" at South Bank.

Mr Fejzic was captured many times during the 1990s Bosnian war and imprisoned in concentration camps where he was mistreated.

He was left traumatised but moving to Australia provided an "opportunity for a better life" - and for a while he found it.

"All of my Bosnian war traumas were easier to bare Brisbane," he said in a victim impact statement read in Brisbane District Court on Thursday.

What he enjoyed most were his evening walks around the Brisbane River and CBD, calling them his special places.

Mr Fejzic was talking by phone to his family in Bosnia during one of his cherished strolls when Sale stabbed him with a large kitchen knife, leaving a 15cm deep wound in his hip.

The talented sculptor had been wrongfully identified as someone who had assaulted Sale's co-offender.

Mr Fejzic fell to the ground before Sale and the co-offender set upon him.

Sale threatened to kill two people who tried to intervene.

Mr Fejzic's family heard the entire attack on the phone.

Sale then walked around South Bank with the co-offender, assaulting more people.

A co-offender at one stage pushed to the ground a woman holding a four-month-old baby.

"These walks were my life ... and now they cannot be that any longer," Mr Fejzic said in his statement. "My happy and safe reality disappeared forever during one of my walks."

His hip wound delayed a trip to see his father in Bosnia.

His dad died before Mr Fejzic fully recovered.

Mr Fejzic was only able to attend the funeral.

He was already hyper vigilant before the attack after losing a kidney and his spleen in a childhood accident.

"Since I was 12 I would avoid places and people whom there was a possibility of any kind of conflict or physical injury," he said in his statement.

"So how do you think I have been feeling after the attack?"

Mr Fejzic had flourished as an artist in Australia, earning a PhD at the Queensland College of Arts in 2016.

One of his sculptures was presented as a gift to the Australian Parliament and is displayed in its formal gardens.

However Mr Fejzic said he no longer felt safe in his adopted country.

"I am literally scared of living here," he said.

He also feared his decades-long marriage would not last, saying he wasn't the same person.

"It's excruciating to see him survive this attack but still die," his wife's victim impact statement said.

Sale, 20, pleaded guilty to a number of charges including malicious act with intent.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren sentenced him to five years in jail, suspended for five years.

Sale - who had 14 months in pre-sentence custody declared as time served - also received three years probation.