By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.
Whilst rugby league may be known for the occasional biffo between players, an incident at an under 20s football game between the Wentworthville Magpies and Penrith Brothers which has ended in the stabbing of three men, has shocked the community.
The match had supposedly ended in a usual fashion. However, as players from both teams made their way to the car park adjacent to the ground, the incident allegedly broke out.
The physical altercation culminated in a 19-year-old Wentworthville player and two spectators, aged 16 and 22 being stabbed.
Police have commented that a six-inch kitchen knife was used during the incident.
Emergency services were called to Old Saleyards Reserve, North Parramatta following the incident, with paramedics treating those injured before they were taken to Westmead Hospital.
Prior to the arrival of police, several men supposedly fled the scene.
Both of the teams have been stood down immediately, with future decisions relying on the outcome of the investigation by police and matches postponed.
No formal statements have been made as of yet by either of the respective clubs.
“This is not what footy is about…. players running to their cars after the game and grabbing out knives…It’s a sad day for rugby league in West Syd.” commented an attendee of the game.
So far, two men have now been charged over the incident.
On the afternoon following the match, a 20-year-old Kingswood man was arrested at Penrith Police Station, where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm while in company and affray.
He was formally refused bail when he appeared at Parramatta Local Court on Monday 10 August 2020 and will appear again on Thursday 8 October 2020.
On Tuesday 11 August, police arrested a 19-year-old man following his release from Nepean Hospital.
He was charged with three counts of wound with intent and was granted bail at Parramatta court, following the supply of a $4000 surety by his family.
In a statement NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: “The incident is sickening criminal behaviour and those responsible for it deserve to face the full force of the law.
“Everyone who enjoys community sport at the weekend should expect to be able to do in a safe environment and it is nothing short of appalling that an incident like this has taken place in an area adjacent to where one of our matches was being conducted.
“Beyond any criminal behaviour, anybody involved with the incident can expect never to have a role in our game ever again.”
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and anyone else who was affected by the traumatic event and we offer the full support of all our counselling and other services to them,” he continued.
Pursuant to section 33 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) any person who wounds any person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to that or any other person is guilty of an offence.
It carries a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a standard non-parole period of 7 years.
Whilst the standard non-parole period is not mandatory to impose, it does reflect the minimum period of full-time imprisonment that the legislature has suggested for a case in the mid-range of objective seriousness of such an offence.
The case of R v Shepherd  NSWCCA 351 at defines wounding as an injury involving the breaking or cutting of the interior layer of the skin
The consequences of a wounding may vary widely (R v Hatch  NSWCCA 330 at ) and does not necessarily require a weapon to be used (R v Shepherd  NSWCCA 351 at ).
The degree of violence used, or the ferocity of the attack is an integral relevant factor, especially in regard to sentencing cases (R v Zhang  NSWCCA 358 at ).