Keith Wass: Pastafarian jailed for vicious ski field assault in Chewbacca outfit

A Pastafarian who was dressed as Chewbacca when he viciously beat a ski field manager has been put behind bars.

A western Sydney man who bludgeoned a ski resort manager while dressed as Chewbacca has refused to apologise to his victim before being jailed for the “vicious” assault.

Keith Melvyn Wass, 54, stood in the dock of the NSW District Court wearing a white and red colander on his head as he was jailed for at least one year and four months.

Wass brutally beat Kosciuszko Thredbo general manager Jordan Rodgers during the bizarre assault at Thredbo Resort in 2017.

He pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm but when he arrived at court, he continued to refuse to apologise to his victim and made outlandish claims.

Asked outside court if he had any apologies for Mr Rodgers, Wass said: “No, I really struggle with that given he knew I was there as part of my treatment plan recommended as crucial for my general rehabilitation”.

The Blaxland man, who subscribes to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, went on to claim that he was a victim of religious discrimination by the resort.

The court has previously heard Wass wears a colander on his head as part of his Pastafarian beliefs.

The August 12, 2017 stoush began after the resort received two complaints via email from concerned parents about Wass’ behaviour because he was seen on the ski fields wearing a Chewbacca costume.

A heated argument broke out when Mr Rodgers told Wass: “We’ve had complaints that kids are getting scared”.

“Hey I’m just Chewbacca,” Wass said, according to an agreed statement of facts.

During sentencing submissions on Friday, his barrister Peter Pearsall told Judge Garry Neilson there had been no complaints from children, adding that one of the emails had in fact said that children wanted their pictures taken with Wass in his Star Wars outfit.

“You’re seeking to justify what you client did,” Judge Nielsen said.

“What I’m seeking to do is correct the factual basis of the crown submissions and secondly to explain to your honour the basis of the offender’s reaction,” Mr Pearsall said.

“His criminal reaction,”Judge Nielsen said.

Mr Pearsall added there was no justification for Wass’s behaviour.

When Wass was told his pass was being revoked, he picked up his snowboard, hitting Mr Rodgers on the jaw.

Mr Rodgers collapsed to the ground before Wass stood over him and continued to rain blows with the end of his board.

Three bystanders had to drag Wass off his victim.

Judge Neilson said that while waiting for police to arrive, Wass told another Thredbo worker: “I just decked Jordan and it made me feel so good, and I hit him with my snowboard as well. I would have kept going too.”

Mr Rodgers suffered extensive facial injuries, including a severe laceration near the right corner of his mouth and three broken teeth.

He had to undergo surgery to dislodge teeth fragments, which had become lodged in his cheek.

The court heard that in a victim impact statement, Mr Rodgers said he had no memory of the assault but suffered anxiety every time he saw anything associated with the Star Wars movies.

“I’m forever changed by the assault,” Mr Rodgers said.

Judge Neilson described the assault as “vicious and brutal”, and noted Mr Rodgers could suffer lifelong dental issues.

“The event cannot be justified by the words exchanged prior to the incident,” Judge Neilson said.

“Nothing justifies the infliction of violence.”

He noted that were it not for bystanders, Wass would have continued to assault his victim.

Wass was jailed for two years and four months, with a non-parole period of one year and four months, and continued to wear the colander on his head as he was led away by Correctives Services officers.

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