Teen girl's dragger jailed then bailed

·3-min read

A 29-year-old man who was filmed dragging a teenage girl by her hair before she was knocked unconscious by others is appealing his jail sentence and has been granted bail by a Sydney magistrate.

Jesse Leilan Mackenzie was jailed for at least 10 months in the Central Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to affray.

The Double Bay man was the eldest of three men involved in the attack on two teenage girls at Pyrmont on the evening of Mardi Gras in March.

In mobile phone footage he can be seen dragging the 15-year-old about five metres towards a nearby garden bed and over a ledge, both falling about one metre below.

The teenager is then repeatedly punched in the head by his co-accused and at one point kicked while she is lying on the ground, causing her to fall unconscious, the court was told.

Magistrate Clare Farnan said the footage clearly showed anyone involved in the melee would have feared for their safety.

"Having regard to the random nature of the violence being inflicted on these young girls by Mr Mackenzie amongst others," Ms Farnan said.

But after sentencing the man to a maximum term of 20 months in prison she granted him bail so he could attend a rehabilitation facility to treat his drug and alcohol abuse.

"An awful lot of my sentences are reduced on appeal in the District Court," Ms Farnan said.

A week before the assault Mackenzie had been placed on "a number of community correction orders," following domestic violence and property damage, among other incidents.

Mackenzie had multiple opportunities to walk away but stayed and engaged in such behaviour with the victim suffering "substantial" emotional harm following the assault, prosecutor Chris Manning said.

"He is a 29-year-old man with offences committed against a 15-year-old girl."

While his defence earlier argued his participation stopped after the dragging, Mr Manning disagreed saying he could be seen lying down and holding the victim while she sustained further assaults.

The former Telstra worker had written to the court accepting responsibility for the incident but also "attributed blame to the victims and associates saying they were antagonising him and his co-accused," Mr Manning said.

"He acknowledged he was responding to violence with violence."

Legal Aid counsel for Mackenzie conceded his behaviour "on this night is despicable," but said he had shown remorse by saying his response to the initial violence was inappropriate and a mistake.

"He acknowledged the impact on them would have been terrible," Tamara Grennan said.

Ms Grennan submitted the significant media attention had meant he was a target for attacks in custody and had been placed in protection out of fear for his safety.

The court was earlier told he had his shoulder dislocated and boiling water thrown on him while on remand.

Mackenzie suffers from multiple mental health, drug and alcohol issues following the suicide of his sister and friend in 2018 within a very short time period, and faced a troubled childhood "at the hands of his father," the court was told.

He is next due in court on September 16 when his appeal will be heard in the district court.

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