Man escapes jail term after knocking out burglar

An Australian man has avoided jail - despite beating a burglar on his property almost to death.

The thief had broken into the lawn and garden equipment store owned by Shane Fisher and his father in April. He rammed the store's roller door, triggering the alarm.

The man was loading products onto a trailer when Fisher and his father arrived.

Fisher grabbed the would-be-thief and punched him at least 15 times to the head while he was on the ground. The 38-year-old was knocked unconscious and suffered a serious brain injury from the assault, leading to a hospital stay of several weeks.

The entire incident was captured on the store's CCTV.

Fisher was the one to call an ambulance to the scene.

He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm at an earlier court appearance.

"This is a totally unexpected event, that was unintended and (Fisher) deeply regrets what took place," Fisher's lawyer Max Crispe told the court.

The judge deemed that while Fisher had overreacted, he had been taken by surprise and acted out of fear and panic. 

Fisher received an 18-month suspended jail sentence. The assaulted man has yet to be sentenced over the burglary.