On AFL grand final day last year two teenage boys decided to have a laugh re-enacting a scene from Harry Potter.
They ran at a ‘for sale’ sign in a neighbour’s front yard, while referencing the fictional wizard’s efforts to reach Platform 9 3/4 to take him to Hogwarts.
The skit triggered a chain of events that put a 14-year-old boy in emergency surgery, having part of his skull removed to alleviate pressure from a bleed caused by a baseball bat to the head.
Ryan Raymer was jailed for the cowardly assault on Wednesday after his brother Matthew and others stormed the Geelong home where the teens were at a football party.
‘Were you the one touching my sign,’ Ryan Raymer grilled one of the boys, who told him it was his older brother who had run into, but not damaged, the sign.
Ryan Raymer struck the 14-year-old to the side of the head with a baseball bat.
The boy fell to the ground, hitting his head on cement.
An unidentified man then kicked him in the stomach.
‘Don’t get up or I’ll stab you,’ another person said.
Victoria’s County Court heard Ryan Raymer had received a phone call from his partner who was upset ‘bordering hysterical’ and feared she was ‘under siege’ from the boys and their game.
One of the boys ran into the sign with his hip and shoulder, and they left after a telling off from a woman at their party.
Ryan returned home, and called his brother for back-up.
Judge Gavan Meredith said five to seven men stormed the party in response, some armed with bats or poles.
The group, including the brothers, barged into the garage where the grand final celebration was being held, with Ryan Raymer angrily yelling that his sign had been hit.
The injured boy’s brother, 16, stepped in front of his aunt to protect her from a blow and was struck on the arm with a bat.
The group left, and the injured boy was rushed to hospital where he was found to have a skull fracture and brain bleed, which required surgery.
Judge Meredith said the attack was cowardly, largely senseless and alcohol fuelled.
Ryan Raymer was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to intentionally causing injury, aggravated burglary and affray.
The judge said Matthew Raymer wasn’t armed and hadn’t injured anyone but had still agreed to go to the house knowing violence would be used.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and affray and was ordered to complete 200 hours of community work, and undergo drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.
Ryan Raymer will be eligible for parole in a year.