AFTER being bullied most of his life, Alexander William James Fermor was happy to finally have friends - even if that meant doing the wrong thing.
The young Rockhampton man spent his 18th birthday behind bars after he was arrested for brutally assaulting an innocent firefighter with his mates Jamie Patryk Morrison and James Darcy O'Meara, both 18.
All three pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday to one count of assault with intent to steal and one count of assault occasioning bodily harm in company.
Keen to collect a debt owed to him, O'Meara rallied Morrison and Fermor and headed to the Dreamtime Cultural Centre on Yaamba Rd about 5.30pm on March 5.
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There they set upon an man, 18, who was mowing the lawn on a ride-on, punching him.
The victim managed to free himself from the men and drive the mower to a nearby fire station where he ran inside.
When the three men approached, a firefighter, 47, walked out to try to calm the situation.
He was kicked and punched until he was unconscious on the ground.
Police prosecutor Julie Marsden said the firefighter received significant facial injuries, but thankfully no permanent disfigurement.
O'Meara's solicitor, Doug Winning, said the three men simply took their fury out on the firefighter, unaware he was actually a good Samaritan.
He said his client was ashamed of his actions and argued that it was a case of "youthful misjudgement".
Solicitor Brian McGowran, who represented Morrison, agreed with Mr Winning, saying his client regretted the assault the moment they left.
The court heard Fermor knew it was wrong but "went along with it" because he was happy to be accepted as part of a group. He wrote a letter of apology to the firefighter.
O'Meara was sentenced to six months jail, suspended for two years, and 15 months probation. He was ordered to pay $2500 compensation.
Morrison was sentenced to nine months jail, suspended for two years, and 18 months probation. He was ordered to pay $500.
Ms Marsden said the sentences reflected their criminal histories.
Fermor's matter was adjourned to today.