Jailed for Bay party stubby attack

SMASHING a beer bottle over a man's head during a fight at a New Year's Eve party this week landed a 29-year-old Cooloola Cove man in jail for six months.

Ryan James Hammersley pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday to assault occasioning bodily harm after he hit a man in the head with a stubby bottle on December 31.

Hammersley was taken into custody immediately after sentencing on Monday to serve an 18-month jail term, with parole after six months.

The court heard the bottle broke as Hammersley hit the victim in the head.

The blow opened up three cuts on the victim's head, including one cut behind the temple.

The bloody injury required medical treatment, where the cuts were super-glued closed.

The assault followed an argument between Hammersley and the victim at a New Year's Eve party at Hammersley's aunt's home in Tin Can Bay, the court was told.

The court heard The pair hadn't met before the party and the victim had blocked an initial punch from Hammersley before being hit with the bottle.

The bottle was held upside-down by the neck and therefore used with the intent to use it as a weapon.

The defence revealed Hammersley, who battles alcohol

problems, was drunk on the night and had difficulty remembering why he was arguing.

He said thought he was holding the bottle upright but wouldn't contest the matter because he couldn't exactly recall.

The nature of the offence, which Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said fitted somewhere in-between the definitions of a glassing, and Hammersley's lengthy history were the tipping points leading to the jail term.

The court heard a long list of previous offences on Hammersley's record.

These include several trespass-related offences, a conviction of wounding for which he was given 18 months prison, suspended for two years, and records of breached court orders.

Magistrate Baldwin said the maximum sentence for an offence like the assault was 10 years.

She reminded Hammersley he could have been looking at charges of manslaughter or murder but noted he did not deliberately break the beer bottle.

Hammersley will be eligible for parole on October 29, 2013. He was ordered to pay $1500 compensation.

Gympie Times

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