The Block judge Shaynna Blaze has broken her silence after the man who attacked her while walking her dog in 2020 was jailed.
**CONTENT WARNING: The following discusses assault and may be distressing for some readers.
Mark Surmon was jailed for 100 days after being found guilty of unlawful assault after he struck Blaze in the back of the head and punched her in the left cheek, which saw her fall face down.
He also “attempted to quieten” his victim’s cries for help “by putting his hand around her face and mouth” during the attack on April 18, 2020.
After being sentenced on April 5 this year, The Block judge’s attacker immediately appealed his imprisonment. The 40-year-old was granted bail that same day.
However, County Court judge Geoffrey Chettle dismissed his appeal in early August, sending Surmon to prison for the full 100 days, less than 28 days already served.
Blaze has revealed she is “pleased that the judicial process has now been concluded”.
“The perpetrator has been sentenced for his actions”, she said, as reported by the Herald Sun. “Crimes like this need to stop, and punishment and rehabilitation are both important levers for our society,”
Shaynna Blaze Voices Wishes for Her Attacker to Seek Help
The popular TV personality — and anti-family violence campaigner — also voiced her wishes for Surmon to undergo rehabilitation to avoid further attacks.
“I hope he gets the help he needs so this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” she said.
Alongside his jail term, Surmon was stuck with a community corrections order with drug and mental health treatment conditions. This also included requirements to undergo an offender behaviour program.
According to the Herald Sun, court documents revealed that Surmon’s lawyers argued their client’s schizophrenia was “poorly managed” at the time of the attack.
However, doctors ruled it was “unclear” whether his mental health status was linked to the assault.
The Block‘s Shaynna Blaze Provided Victim Impact Statements During Proceedings
While Surmon’s case was before the court, Blaze provided two impact statements that “emphasise the ongoing effects that this offending has had on [her]”.
Detective Senior Constable Connor labelled Surmon’s offence as “unacceptable behaviour”.
“The sentence imposed should reflect societies [sic] views on inflicting harm on others, especially women,” he said.
“The victim was walking her dog at the time of the assault. Members of the community ought to have a right to feel safe whilst doing this.”
The officer further argued that Surmon’s actions were a “serious example of [unlawful assault]”, and the community must be protected against the attacker’s “propensity for unprovoked violence”.
Appeal documents show that Surmon had “numerous prior convictions”. He had appeared before the court eight times, including for an unlawful assault in 2004.
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