Two Melbourne men have avoided a recorded conviction for an assault, despite inflicting a fractured skull, brain haemorrrhaging and hearing loss on their victim. After seeing a man punch a woman, they followed him down the road and took vigilante action. Magistrate Kate Hawkins took into account their remorse, and the circumstances of the attack. She said “it’s desirable to encourage young men to come to the aid of women who are being assaulted by men in the street”, but their “great error of judgment was taking the law into your own hands.” The men were placed on adjourned undertakings (commonly called good behaviour bonds) with conditions to attend positive lifestyle and anger management courses. According to Sentencing Advisory Council statistics, this is an exceptionally rare outcome for a charge of causing serious injury recklessly, which carries up to 15 years jail. The third man was earlier sentenced to a community correction order for his assault on the woman.