Victims of a random hammer attack that left a young man blind in one eye have hit out at a sentence that could see their tormentor back on the streets in under two years.
Kearne Cannon was 20 when he was viciously assaulted by mindless thug Jackson Savage, 28, in Melbourne’s east in a shocking case of mistaken identity.
Mr Cannon, a roof plumber, had been out for lunch with his then girlfriend Sarah Davis, 19, at Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood when their lives were torn apart in a random act of mindless brutality.
Jackson Savage went to his car and grabbed a hammer after mistakenly believing he’d seen a bloke who jumped him a year earlier. He pounded in the skull of Kearne Cannon, who had just been out to lunch with his then girlfriend Sarah Davis
Kearne Cannon and Sarah Davis in hospital after their shocking ordeal. They had been together for four years at the time and remain great mates today
In happier time: Kearne Cannon and Sarah Davis before the shocking attack at Eastland Shopping centre that left Mr cannon blind in one eye and Ms David forever mentally scarred
Savage, who this month received five years in jail with a non-parole period of just three years, pounded Mr Cannon’s head in after mistakenly believing he had been among a group of males who had attacked and robbed him a year earlier.
He pounced from behind as the young couple returned to their cars on November 30 last year, shouting ‘I’m going to f**n’ kill you’ as you ran towards them.
Horrific CCTV footage shows Savage smash Mr Kearne 16 times with such ferocity it cracked his skull open and left him blind in one eye.
So horrific is the footage that the victims themselves have not been allowed to view it, with Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry again denying access to Daily Mail Australia.
Ms Davis, who was threatened by the hammer wielding maniac as she tried to shield her boyfriend from the blows, condemned Justice Lasry for his lenient sentence.
‘Three years is nothing compared to the injuries and trauma that have came from his actions,’ Ms Davis told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He got six months for what he did to me. It happened over a year ago and I wake up and go to sleep thinking about the attack and reliving it every day.’
Kearne Cannon spent days in hospital and had to undergo surgery to repair his mangled face. The court heard his sustained permanent damage to his right eye which has left him blind
Kearne Cannon was bashed all over his body. Pictured are the bruises on his legs administered by Jackson Savage during his mindless attack. He will likely walk free from jail in under two years
So horrific was the attack that police initially charged Savage with attempted murder, but offered him a deal to plead guilty to lesser charges.
He pleaded guilty in February to a charge of intentionally causing serious injury, possession of a prohibited weapon and assault with a weapon.
Savage faced 20 years’ imprisonment, but with time served will likely walk free from jail in under two years.
Ms Davis described the attack as the most ‘horrific and traumatising event’ of her life.
Sarah Davis has been unable to return to her studies after the bloody attack on her and her former boyfriend. She feels let down by a justice system that wouldn’t even allow her to see CCTV footage of the brutal attack
Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood. Kearne Cannon and Sarah Davis had enjoyed lunch with friends before being set upon by Jackson Savage as they returned to their car
‘It was such a weak and cowardly attack as he came up from behind us with a weapon and took us completely off guard,’ she said.
‘If I didn’t see Savage at the last second Kearne would be dead as when he turned around he struck him in the eye instead of the back of his head.’
‘His first swing was straight to Kearne’s head and as he fell to the ground he hit him over 16 times with the hammer. I tried to help Kearne by standing over him to protect him and that’s when he swung the hammer at me.’
During his sentence, Justice Lasry claimed Savage’s punishment would set an example to like-minded thugs.
‘Such actions are akin to vigilantism, and require a clear message of condemnation from the court by the operation of general deterrence,’ he said.
Justice Lasry went onto say that he accepted Savage had never intended to kill his victim.
‘Despite your exclamation as you attacked Mr Cannon, in my opinion, this was never likely to be a viable case of attempted murder,’ he said.
He further praised Savage for his supposedly ‘good character’.
‘You are effectively without prior convictions except unrelated traffic matters. I regard you as a person of good character,’ he said.
‘In your case, I am confident that you well understand the consequences of your actions, and I do not regard specific deterrence as being a particularly relevant sentencing consideration. I accept that you are genuinely shocked by your own conduct as you told police in the record of interview.’
Mr Cannon suggested disappointment in the sentence when contacted by Daily Mail Australia and described Savage as a ‘scumbag’.
Ms Davis, who had been studying justice at the time, said she continued to struggle with post traumatic stress disorder.
‘I live with the guilt of not protecting Kearne more than I did and I couldn’t live with myself if he died that day. I still find it hard to deal with what damage it’s done to him the most,’ she said.
‘I wish there was more awareness of what PTSD is and how people suffer in silence because it’s not a physical injury it’s a psychological one so people tend to think because you’re not in a wheel chair or have a limb missing that there’s nothing wrong with you.’
Jackson Savage pounded in the skull of Kearne Cannon, who had just been out to lunch with his then girlfriend Sarah Davis. He was sentneced to five years in jail by Justice Lex Lasry
Justice Lex Lasry’s sentence of Jackson Savage has upset the victims, who claim Savage got off too lightly
All Australian ‘scumbag’: Jackson Savage poses before the flag he disgraced with his mindless attack on Kearne Cannon
Ms Davis said nothing could describe the feeling of watching someone try to kill your partner and not knowing whether he will live or die before your eyes.
‘Knowing Jackson Savage can get out in under two years now seems an injustice and unfair since he tried to murder someone and the impact it’s had on my life,’ she said.
‘He gets to walk free and move on with his life while Kearne and I have a life sentence of what we’ve been through due to Savage’s actions.
‘I wish people realised how much their actions can affect people’s lives because not only did it affect Kearne and I, it affected the families involved along with everyone that helped us.’
She said the experience has stripped their faith in the justice system.
‘I’m hoping that it will get enough attention that some victims of crime lawyers will reach out to us as throughout this whole process we haven’t been treated correctly and got no protection. The police will not even let me see the footage let alone have a copy of it,’ she said.