Canberra man jailed over shopping trolley attack that left victim’s skull exposed

A Canberra man who used a shopping trolley handle to bash his partner’s ex-boyfriend so badly his skull was visible has been jailed for nearly four years.

Michael John Barron, 35, pleaded guilty to the attack in the ACT Supreme Court.

The victim had multiple skull fractures and cuts, and a part of his skull was visible through a cut above his eyebrow, after he was hit several times in February.

The court heard the incident was preceded by a string of offensive texts between the woman and her ex-partner, before he came to collect belongings from her home.

The woman had ended a seven-year relationship with the victim at the beginning of the year.

Barron’s lawyer Paul Edmonds noted the attack had been premeditated and arranged by the woman, with Barron carried along in the belief he was righting a wrong.

“He was simply swept up in those plans,” he said, conceding Barron was the one who sourced the weapon and did the deed.

Chief Justice Helen Murrell said the motive had been retribution, with Barron making a bid to correct a perceived wrong.

She noted the victim was defenceless and said it had been lucky the injuries were not more serious.

Chief Justice Murrell also noted Barron’s long history of drug use including cannabis, methamphetamine and heroin, saying while he was keen to improve his life, he would remain vulnerable to relapse.

She sentenced Barron to three years and 11 months’ jail with a non-parole period of 26 months.

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