IN CUSTODY: Matthew Allan Cross outside Newcastle courthouse before his sentencing on Tuesday.
Nanjing Night Net

TWO men have been jailed for their roles in a “savage” nightclub toilet gang-bashing that left an innocent young man with a fractured jaw.

Matthew Allan Cross, 26, and Sam Paton Petersen, 28, waved goodbye to their families in Newcastle District Courton Tuesdayas they were led away by Corrective Services.

The pair were described in court as the worst two offenders from a group of four who brutally attacked an 18-year-old man at Finnegan’s Hotel in December, 2013,in what was a case of mistaken identity.

Judge Roy Ellis found that Cross initiated the assault bygrabbing the victim and telling him“Mate,you’re not going anywhere”,before he threw the first punch and continued to punch the man when he was on the ground.

He said the act of repeatedly punching the victim’s head against the tiled bathroom floorlikely caused the most serious injuries.

He sentenced Cross to a maximum of two years and 10 months in jail, with a non-parole period of 18months.

Judge Ellis took into account the seven months Cross had spent in custody while refused bail during 2014 and backdated the sentence.

He will be eligible for parole in July next year.

JAILED: Sam Paton Petersen walks into Newcastle courthouse on Tuesday. He was later sentenced to 15 months jail.

The court heard Petersen had been the one to erroneously identify the innocent 18-year-old as someone who had started dating the former girlfriend of one of their friends.

Petersen told the court on Friday he picked out the wrong guy and later said to Cross and another co-accused, Joel Worlin, “let’s go and get that c—-”.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Petersen and another co-accused, Joshua Allan Morgan, joined in the bashing and started to punch and stomp the victim while he was on the ground.

But Petersen told Judge Ellis he only kicked the victim once to the thigh.

Judge Ellis said Petersen was likely trying to minimise his involvement, but nonetheless found he was legitimately contrite and remorseful for his actions.

He sentenced Petersen to a maximum of two years and five months in jail with a non-parole period of 15 months. He will be eligible for parole in November, 2017.

Morgan will be sentenced on Wednesday, while Worlin was placed on a good behaviour bond in May after pleading guiltyto a lesser charge.

FATE: Joshua Allan Morgan will be sentenced on Wednesday for his role in the nightclub toilet assault.