Man jailed for cat-o’-nine-tails whipping
A MAN has been jailed after he assaulted a mate over a $50 debt and whipped another friend with a homemade cat-o'-nine-tails weapon.
Matthew Stuart, 50, was sentenced on Friday by a Melbourne court to two years and seven months in jail, with a minimum of 20 months, over the 2017 assault.
Stuart had gone to the Seaford home of two friends in January 2017 to speak to one of the men about a $50 debt.
"You admitted that you 'punched the f*** out of him' with your rings on," Victoria County Court Judge Mandy Fox said.
The rings acted as Stuart's knuckledusters so he could "do more damage", the court was told.
"Your counsel conceded that this turned into a very nasty assault," the judge said.
Stuart was also angry because one of the men had also previously threatened to give Stuart's girlfriend a "hot shot" of heroin, Judge Fox said.
In drug-taking circles, a hot shot is a lethal dose.
After punching one man, Stuart then hit the other man on the arms with a whip made from PVC pipe and electrical cables.
The whip had previously been described to the court as "like a cat-o'-nine-tails".
Stuart pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury, possessing a dangerous article and unlawful assault over the attack.
He also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a sawn-off shotgun, which was not used during the confrontation but which police later found while searching Stuart's home.
Judge Fox said Stuart has admitted the attack on his friends was "way out of line".
"It occurred in the victim's home and in circumstances where he let you in to discuss a $50 debt," she said.
The judge acknowledged things turned physical after the two men had pushed Stuart.
Stuart, a former ice user, has also expressed remorse over the incident, telling authorities: "I'm sorry I did it, I've lost two friends because of it."
He was on two community corrections orders at the time of the attack.
The 50-year-old has already spent 16 months in custody over the attack on his mates and will likely be eligible for parole before the end of 2018.
"I hope you take advantage of this opportunity and don't return to drug use and criminal activity when you're released," Judge Fox said.