A thug who brutally bashed his pregnant wife before crashing his car through the front of a service station as she attempted to hide from him could be released early from prison.
Didier Lam Kee Shau, 39, of Coburg in Melbourne’s north, was sentenced to five years in jail, with a non-parole period of three-and-a-half years, over the sickening attack.
Three of those years were for the charge of recklessly causing injury to his wife, whom Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to name.
Didier Lam Kee Shau drove his car into a Caltex service station after savagely bashing a woman up outside. The attendant was injured in the attack, which lefts tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the business
Didier Lam Kee Shau was captured on CCTV from the Caltex service station punching, dragging and kicking his victim. She escaped into the service station before Shau drove his car into it
Carnage: A Honda SUV driven by Didier Lam Kee Shau remained lodged in the service station after he drove it at speed into it. Shau had bashed a pregnant woman outside moments earlier
On Friday, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Phillip Priest said if he had sentenced the thug, he would have given him even less.
‘It struck me immediately as stern,’ he told the court.
Shau has appealed his sentence on the grounds the sentencing judge, County Court of Victoria Judge Richard Smith, gave him an excessive sentence for the brutal crime.
He had pleaded guilty to one charge of recklessly causing injury to the woman and one count of conduct endangering life over his attack on the servo.
The horrific service station bashing that shocked Australia
A woman driving Didier Lam Kee Shau pulls up and makes a run for it
Shau grabs her and repeatedly punches her before dragging her and beating her again
He returns to his car for some unknown reason
Shau returns moments later and bashes the woman again
Eventually she escapes inside and collapses near a fridge
Unable to get in, Shau gets in the car and drives it into the servo
The attendant jumps out of the way and the smashed counter almost hits the pregnant woman
Police arrive and arrest him
Shau had received three years for the assault and an additional three for the conduct charge – only two of which was added to his head sentence.
The sickening attack happened in the early hours of September 17, 2018 after the pair attended Shau’s niece’s first communion celebration in Carrum Downs – in Melbourne’s southeast.
Harrowing CCTV footage taken from the Caltex service station on Blackburn Road, Glen Waverley, caught the woman’s desperate attempts to escape Shau.
She had been 18 weeks pregnant at the time.
Footage shows the car door fling open and the bloody woman run for the service station doors.
‘Help me please,’ she shouted.
The attendant would later tell police he was in such a state of panic that he couldn’t remember the triple-zero number to call police.
Video captured Shau repeatedly punching his wife to the ground before dragging her by the hair and pounding her head into the ground repeatedly.
At one point she is seen rolling into a ball and trying to protect her baby.
‘I’m probably going to die today,’ she thought.
Amazingly, prosecutors did not proceed with charges of intentionally causing serious injury, which carries a 10-year maximum sentence instead of five.
Eventually, the attendant managed to open the door and she staggered inside.
Shau tried to get in as the battered woman crawled to a fridge to hide.
He is seen walking back to the Honda SUV where he gets in and lines up the attendant’s booth.
Shau puts his foot down and crashes the car through the wall, sending the attendant flying back into cupboards in an explosion of debris.
He was represented in the Court of Appeal by respected barrister Paul Smallwood, who argued the sentencing judge had failed to take into account his client’s early plea, prospects of rehabilitation and otherwise good character.
Didier Lam Kee Shau is pictured in a court sketch
The pregnant woman stumbles onto the floor of the service station near an ice-cream fridge after being savagely bashed outside. Didier Lam Kee Shau drove his car into the servo moments later
Didier Lam Kee Shau drags the pregnant woman along the road before repeatedly stomping on her head. When she escaped inside he returned to his car and drove it through the service station
Mr Smallwood said his client had shown deep remorse for his actions and claimed the attack had been the very first instance of domestic violence in his client’s relationship.
He suggested Shau’s sentence ought be reduced by anywhere up to six months.
‘It goes beyond stern,’ he said.
Shau has already spent close to two years behind bars.
Crown prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams argued the sentencing judge was well within range with his final sentence.
‘I don’t say it’s stern,’ he said. ‘It’s a bad case of recklessly causing injury.’
Justice Priest said while he acknowledged the attack was brutal, he needed to put aside any emotional response to it.
‘One has got to be objective,’ he said. ‘Views will differ. That is what we’re here for.’
Justice Priest said he would have been ‘more comfortable’ if Judge Smith had sentenced Shau to a non-parole period of three years.
While Justice Priest said he would have sentenced Shau differently, he acknowledged the sentence imposed may not be ruled excessive by the Court of Appeal.
‘Some might say he got 40 per cent change. That is 40 percent less than the five year maximum,’ he said.
The Court of Appeal reserved its decision for a date to be fixed.
A Caltex service station attendant attempted to call the police but couldn’t remember the number. Didier Lam Kee Shau drove his car into him seconds later
Didier Lam Kee Shau stalks the pregnant woman outside the service station doors, which had been locked by the attendant. Shau returned to his car and drove through the building
In sentencing Shau last year, Judge Smith said he accepted Shau had hit the woman ‘as hard as he could’.
‘It was a brutal assault by you on a five-month pregnant woman,’ he said. ‘It’s all but miraculous she was not more seriously injured … she was the softest of targets for your aggression.’
Judge Smith said the attendant was also lucky not to be seriously injured and it was only a split-second decision by him to move right that saved him.
The court heard Shau had a prior conviction for being drunk in public and assaulting police.
Judge Smith said it was an aggravating factor that Shau committed his ‘vicious’ crime in an act of domestic violence.
And although he was unable to sentence Shau for the higher offence of ‘intentionally’ causing injury, he deemed the attack at the ‘high-end’ of the offence he pleaded guilty to.
The Caltex service station on Blackburn Road where a woman was savagely bashed. Didier Lam Kee Shau then drove his car into it, injuring the attendant
Didier Lam Kee Shau drove his car into a Caltex service station after brutally bashing a pregnant woman outside. He was sentenced to jail over the horrific crime
Workers attend the destroyed service station. Didier Lam Kee Shau caused more than $93,000 worth of damage to it after he drove his car at speed directly into it