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A TEENAGER who maimed two Brisbane schoolboys with a meat cleaver in a pre-meditated attack has been sentenced to nine years in jail.
By David Barbeler/The Australian/Hat tip Atlas
Zinajdo Hasanovic, 19, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to grievous bodily harm with intent and unlawful wounding.
The court heard one student received a 7.5cm long gash to his cheek, so deep that it hit bone. Another was slashed in the back, narrowly missing his spinal cord.
During sentencing today, Judge David Searles described how ringleader Hasanovic and seven other teenagers had gone to a private school on Brisbane’s southside to maim students at random.
“The day before, you had been told by one of your offsiders that an unidentified student at (the school) had raped his sister,” Judge Searles said.
“This was a despicable lie.”
The court heard Hasanovic ordered the group of eight to split into two groups to block off both exits.
Armed with a meat cleaver, Hasanovic then randomly selected a group of 15-year-old students to attack.
The first victim, who was chopped in the face, was rushed to the Mater Hospital where he received 60 stitches and plastic surgery to mend the life-threatening wound.
“It, indeed, was a miracle that he was not killed,” Judge Searles said.
The other 15-year-old victim – who was chased down by Hasanovic and struck in the back – required six stitches.
Judge Searles praised the efforts of a teacher who “bravely” put himself in between Hasanovic and other students before the offenders ran off.
“Like most cowardly bullies when confronted, you (Hasanovic) turned to water,” he said.
Judge Searles said the mother of the boy who was slashed on the face had provided the court with a victim impact statement, where she described the trauma of thinking she was going to lose her only child.
The statement also described how both the experience and the remaining scar had left the boy socially withdrawn and unable to sleep.
Outside the court, the victim’s father said he was proud of his son for remaining upbeat, but admitted that it had severely affected his life.
Just days before the schoolyard attack, the court heard, Hasanovic had repeatedly threatened to kill another student on numerous occasions if he didn’t give him $80.
The court heard Hasanovic had fled to Australia as a refugee from the Bosnian war at an early age after losing his father and uncle within days of each other.
Judge Searles acknowledged that, as a result, Hasanovic was suffering from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder.
He sentenced Hasanovic to nine years in jail and labelled him a serious violent offender, meaning he will have to serve 80 per cent of his jail term before being eligible for parole.