Off his head and out of control at Inskip Point

AN AXE-WIELDING camper at Inskip Point who bashed a fellow holiday maker on January 2, escaped jail time yesterday for a violent outburst that terrorised families during the busiest holiday period of the year.

Kingaroy man Brodie Stephen Ashby was among thousands of campers at Inskip Point for New Year's when he became intoxicated by something the prosecutor suggested gave him more strength than normal. His decisions after that could have been fatal.

Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told Ashby in court yesterday that just one of the multiple punches he dealt one of two victims could have killed. Instead the blows resulted left the man bruised and Ashby charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.

Ashby faced a total of five charges yesterday, including two counts of going armed to cause fear and charges of assaulting and obstructing police.

The court heard around 10.30pm on January 2, Ashby was told by a fellow camper to quieten down because he was revving his car and playing loud music.

The defence alleged the camper was threatening and aggressive during the initial confrontation and so Ashby pulled a 40cm hunting knife, which he had taken fishing that day, from the console of his car.

Ashby brandished the knife at the victim, who fled to his caravan, locking himself and his son inside.

The court heard Ashby then armed himself with an axe and went after another camper.

He took a swing at the victim, who dodged the axe and ran away.

The violence continued when Ashby again approached the first victim who had come out of his caravan. Ashby punched the victim in the head several times until the man dropped to the ground. The court heard Ashby continued to punch the man in the head and ribs as he lay on the ground.

It wasn't until Ashby was pulled off the victim that he stopped.

When police arrived at the packed-out campsite, Ashby resisted arrest.

Eventually the 19-year-old offender was wrestled to the ground by police, and handcuffed.

As Ashby struggled violently, he tried to bite a police officer on the arm. He was then sprayed with capsicum spray.

Ashby's defence told the court that while he struggled because he was face-first in the sand and had trouble breathing.

He continued his violent struggle against police as they escorted him away, and at one point head butted an officer as he thrashed around.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told Ashby his actions during his "drunken bravado" could have been lethal.

"We don't want drunken violence in the community," she told him.

The court heard Ashby had no criminal history - a saving grace when it came to the possibility of an actual jail term, with the maximum penalty for assault occasioning bodily harm seven years jail.

Ashby's defence stressed his regret and the influence his intoxication had over his actions.

He pleaded guilty to all charges, was given three months prison with immediate parole for the assault occasioning bodily harm charge as well as a two-year good behaviour bond for two charges of going armed to cause fear and 100 hours community service for obstructing and assaulting police.

Magistrate Baldwin hinted that if Ashby breached his parole or good behaviour bonds periods he could expect to be re-sentenced to jail.

Gympie Times

Topics:  court crime

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