NSW judge delays Aldi basher’s sentence

Mervyn Davidson who assaulted an Aldi worker with a baseball bat has had his sentencing adjourned.A NSW judge wants to see an accused murderer’s psychiatric report before sentencing him for unrelated offences including bashing a supermarket checkout operator with a baseball bat.

Mervyn Keith Davidson has pleaded guilty to the violent attack at Aldi in Albion Park Rail in the Illawarra in January 2017, when he also assaulted a customer who tried to restrain him.

The 44-year-old has also admitted punching a police officer in the face after being taken into custody and choking his cellmate with his t-shirt – rendering him unconscious – while on remand in Sydney’s Silverwater jail.

He was due to be sentenced last Thursday but was deemed not well enough to sit through the judgment.

On Sunday he was charged with murdering Silverwater inmate Alfredo Pengue, 54, and he wasn’t required to appear in court on that charge during a brief mention on Monday.

Davidson did appear in Wollongong District Court on Tuesday, when his lawyer James Jeffery requested another adjournment on the earlier charges because Davidson was waiting for a psychiatric report.

Davidson saw a psychiatrist on Saturday and it was indicated that he might have underlying psychosis, Mr Jeffery told the court.

“If that were the case, that might affect Your Honour’s sentencing,” he said.

Judge Andrew Haesler said it would be a “denial of natural justice” if he didn’t allow an opportunity to more accurately diagnose Davidson’s condition.

“Whether his underlying mental illness is a drug-induced psychosis or something of a more intractable nature would be relevant to sentence,” he said.

The judge noted that Davidson had been charged with another offence but said he was entitled to a presumption of innocence.

“It could not determine any sentence I will impose upon him.”

The sentencing was adjourned to March 9.