A group of naked and drunk college students was left bloodied after they were attacked and taken hostage during a hazing ritual in Wagga Wagga.
An NSW district court heard that five college students had participated in the “Mott Walk,” a Charles Sturt University hazing ritual in which students are given alcohol for hours before being left several miles from the university campus in Gobbagombalin.
The court heard that the five male freshmen were dropped off in the middle of the night, 9 km from the CSU student residence on March 23, 2020, and told to find their way back without their clothes or phones.
Camera icon The students were attacked naked and drunk on Old Narrandera Road on March 23, 2020. Google Maps Credit: News Corp Australia
As they walked, they were approached by Carl Derek Little, who threatened them with a gun and ordered them to get on their knees.
The court heard that one of the students tried to reason with the 30-year-old.
“You’re not going to shoot us. You are not going to shoot (us) here on the side of the road on the public road. That’s just not going to happen,” the victim told Little.
Little hit him on the head with the gun, causing the student to fall to his knees. When he got up again, he was hit on the head with a log.
The court heard Little hold four naked men for 35 minutes, beating them “systematically” with a piece of wood. One of the students was lying face to face when Little hit him so hard that the block broke.
“During that detention, the young men had to get on their knees,” Judge Gordon Lerve told the court.
“There was a threat of bringing them to their knees.”
A fifth student was hit on the head and passed out, but the court heard that he was not being held captive.
The court heard that the students were covered in blood, “shocked and really concerned” when they finally arrived back at the dorm. They were taken to the hospital and treated for their injuries.
Camera icon The five men were freshmen at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW. AAP/Michael Frogley Credit: Included
Little stood before the NSW District Court Friday after being found guilty of detaining four college students with an intent to obtain psychological satisfaction and actual bodily harm to them.
The court heard that the jury also found him guilty of recklessly injuring a fifth student who had not been detained.
Judge Lerve said the incident would have been “terrifying” for the five young men.
“Given the presence of the gun (or replica) and the various threats, the level of terror was significant,” he said.
The judge described the violations as “spontaneous at the sight of the naked victims by the perpetrator”. The court learned that Little had used methamphetamine and heroin on the day of the offense.
About a week after attacking freshmen in college, Little was arrested for breaking into an apartment in Wagga Wagga and holding a “very scared” woman to avoid being charged.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted Friday of both sets of offenses — seven heads.
Judge Lerve noted that Little was on bail at the time of the offenses and has an extensive criminal record that includes convictions for the assault involving actual bodily harm, possession of a prohibited weapon, and harassment.
The court heard that the 30-year-old had a difficult childhood and that his father was an abusive man currently serving a prison sentence for murdering a police officer.
Camera icon Carl Derek Little was convicted in the Wagga Wagga District Court. Credit: News Corp Australia
Little started using cannabis at age 10 and escalated to heroin and meth at 15, court documents show.
Judge Lerve said Little was showing “very positive signs” toward long-term rehabilitation following treatment for his drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. The court learned that he had also expressed regret for his actions.
The judge sentenced Little to nine years and nine months in prison, with a six-year and four-month parole. His sentence expires on July 31, 2030.