"NOT GUILTY": Prominent Gympie JP, shooter and business identity Ron Owen has appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on an assault charge. File Photo

No lessons learned for violent repeat offender

THE criminal history of a repeat offender saw proceedings at the Gympie District Court grind to a halt yesterday afternoon, as legal teams sought an appropriate sentence for Joshua James Nelson.

Nelson, 32, pleaded guilty to a number of violent offences that took place on October 19 last year.

A verbal confrontation with a 25-year-old woman at a Gympie hotel took a dramatic turn as the two returned to Nelson's home.

There, the argument turned physical, with Nelson at first pushing the woman back and knocking a phone out of her hand as she attempted to phone her mother.

Nelson himself was kicked in the face by the woman as he stooped to pick up the phone, which led him to pick the woman up and slam her into the ground.

The attack continued, with Nelson straddling the woman's chest and striking her in the face up to 10 times with his elbows and fists.

Escaping his grasp, the woman attempted to flee with Nelson in pursuit.

She didn't get far before he grabbed her by the neck and choked her for several seconds.

The woman managed to escape, biting Nelson's hand but was thrown to the ground and struck again.

She finally managed

to reach a neighbour's

home, and police arrived soon after.

The brutal attack while Nelson was on parole for another violent attack at a home on Gympie's Southside in 2014, where he attacked a young woman with the back end of an axe, inflicting on her a collapsed lung, fractured rib and subcutaneous gas in the neck region.

"Obviously this complicates things when it comes to sentencing for this incident as well as the previous charges," Judge Gary Long SC said after a lengthy deliberation process.

"Broadly speaking, Mr Nelson, you have a chequered history."

There was also the matter of three suspended sentences for failing to appear in court, offences that carry a mandatory one- month prison term each.

After considerable time spent deliberating, and having already spent 155 days in custody already, Nelson was sentenced to three months imprisonment for the failure to appear charges.

He was further sentenced to an extra five days in prison to complete the remainder of the sentence from his prior offences.

For the assault against the woman on October 19, Nelson was given a 21-month-long prison term to be served cumulatively.

The time served will go toward his parole eligibility date, now August 24, 2017.

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