Member Statement – Quinn Lahiff-Jenkins

Ms FITZHERBERT (Southern Metropolitan) (09:57) — Late last night the Herald Sun posted some enormously distressing footage of a young man named Quinn Lahiff-Jenkins, who is a victim of an assault that can only be described as brutal and vicious. I realise this matter is still under investigation and due process needs to be followed, but I want to place on record that what this footage shows is nothing short of disgraceful and enormously upsetting. The Herald Sun has this description:

The attacker lands multiple blows to Quinn’s head while another youth whacks his legs with a metal spanner. Once he regains his footing, a boy grabs him to the head and knees him in the head before taking him to the ground again.

The footage shows how Quinn is then cornered between two boys armed with spanners, who attack him from front and behind before chasing him toward traffic where he is held down and kicked to the head by three boys.

As I said, it is distressing to watch and utterly abhorrent. What makes it even worse is that the young man who was on the receiving end of this brutal treatment experiences autism, and is vulnerable, so to be set upon in this way is simply appalling. With the benefit of this horrible footage, I hope that these thugs receive a fitting penalty, but it is also a reminder to all of us about the challenges and fears that families who have a loved one who is on the autism spectrum or has a related condition face every day. It is incumbent on all of us in this place to work together to ensure that these sorts of dreadful situations do not occur.

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