BIG MISTAKE: Mistaken identity and fists led a Tewantin man to jail in Gympie District Court this week.
BIG MISTAKE: Mistaken identity and fists led a Tewantin man to jail in Gympie District Court this week.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY: Gympie man jailed after attack

MISTAKEN identity prompted a Tewantin man’s attack on a passing driver and his vehicle in Gympie last July 9, Gympie District Court was told this week.

The court was told Ricky James Pohlner, 33, attacked the man as he sat in his car, in Mary St, after buying a newspaper.

He accused his victim of being someone else before pulling on the partly open car window with enough force to break it, before attacking the innocent man, punching him and breaking his nose.

The attack, described by Judge Bernard Porter as “protracted” and “random,” caused serious harm to the victim psychologically,, the judge said.

Pohlner pleaded guilty to wilful damage and assault with bodily harm.

The court was told that the victim’s injuries required surgery and the charge had initially been the much more serious one of grievous bodily harm, before being downgraded.

The downgrading had been the result of a fine distinction, in which it was noted that the surgery, to realign the victim’s broken nose, was not an emergency measure but was more “cosmetic.”

The incident had already cost him 275 days in jail awaiting sentence.

Judge Bernard Porter took that time into account when sentencing Pohlner to two years jail, with immediate release on parole.

In what the judge described as an “unusual” sentence, he also noted Pohlner’s apparently severe intellectual disability and placed him on probation for three years as well.

He explained that parole would run out at the end of the two-year sentence, but “I didn’t want to leave him on his own.”

He said Pohlner, who had register

ed an IQ of 56 in one test, would benefit from longer term supervision. This was despite one assessment that Pohlner may not have been going his best in the IQ test.

“I don’t want Mr Pohlner to get to the end of his parole period and be on his own,” Judge Porter said.

Gympie Times


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