A man jailed for brutally attacking an off-duty nurse in a Melbourne park has immediately appealed his 12-month sentence.
Darrin Winston Ludowyke, 50, pleaded guilty to the November 2017 assault last week, claiming he was trying to perform a citizen’s arrest in a case of mistaken identity.
He was handed a one-year jail sentence by magistrate Mary-Anne MacCallum at Ringwood on Thursday, but lodged an appeal a short time later and was released on bail.
Ludowyke was in Gardiners Creek Reserve at Burwood when he became involved in an altercation with a fellow dog walker, kicking a Siberian Husky and wrestling its owner to the ground.
As he returned to the park to retrieve his sunglasses shortly afterwards, he grabbed his second victim by the shoulder and punched her repeatedly in the face, leaving her with a broken nose, scratch marks and bruises.
Ludowyke claimed he was trying to perform a citizen’s arrest on the woman and believed she was the companion of the man involved in the initial altercation, despite her having no connection.
The woman was an “older female” and “no physical match for the accused”, the court was told.
She has since needed medication to cope with the traumatic experience.
“The second victim describes the terrifying incident of being attacked from behind by a man, a complete stranger, without any provocation,” Ms MacCallum said in sentencing.
“She felt violated in what was her favourite community space.”
Ms MacCallum described the assault as “one of the most serious” dealt with by the court.
“The events have been life-changing for each of the victims,” she said.
“(They) are now unable to feel as trusting and confident in their surroundings or community as they did.”
The nurse’s sister-in-law told AAP the family is keen for the court matter to end.
“We are pleased that the court has recognised the severity of this very violent and unprovoked attack,” she said.
“Women and girls should feel free to go about their business without living in fear.”
Ludowyke suffers social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, and his defence had argued his mental health played a role in the attack.
He has previous convictions for reckless conduct relating to another violent outburst.
“They evidence a disposition of violence towards strangers,” Ms MacCallum said.
Ludowyke also pleaded guilty to charges of intentionally causing injury, affray and kicking an animal in relation to the November 2017 incident.
His appeal will be heard at the Victorian County Court on March 1.
© AAP 2018