Student unconscious in ‘cowardly fight

“COWARDLY and disgusting” is how Magistrate John Parker described an assault on one schoolboy by another.

The court heard a youth was “knocked unconscious” with a “martial arts-type kick to the head”.

“The defendant heard rumours that the complainant wanted to fight him,” Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns told the court.

“Mobile phone footage shows the defendant being pulled away and the complainant lying on the floor.

“Even though it is his first offence, it was vicious and the complainant had made it clear that he did not want to fight.”

Snr Const Manns sought probation for the defendant because “a fine was not appropriate and a good behaviour bond may not have the deterrent”, saying she was not seeking to have a conviction recorded.

Magistrate John Parker told the court he regarded the charge as “very serious” and was considering probation.

Ripley Perkins, solicitor for the defendant, said his client had, in his own words, “freaked out” when he realised what he had done.

“There are two very different versions of events,” Mr Perkins told the court. “They are the same but the roles are reversed.

“There were rumours around the schoolyard and my client was scared.

“He went to the bus shelter to catch the bus and unfortunately with YouTube, they only got the aftermath recorded.

“He understands he should never have struck the blow.”

When Mr Perkins suggested that, as a soccer player, the defendant’s natural reaction was to kick, Mr Parker intervened, saying “It’s not a natural reaction of any sportsman”.

“Soccer players do not go around kicking other players in the head.”

Mr Perkins went on to say that what had happened was a “schoolyard altercation that had gone horribly wrong” and that it was not premeditated.

“I’m sure you’ve heard that one punch can kill,” Mr Parker told the defendant.

“You know it, I know it. In my 30 or so years in the criminal justice system, I’ve seen young men like you going to jail for manslaughter.

“If one punch can kill, so can one kick. It was a cowardly, disgusting thing to do,” Mr Parker said.

“Any decent soccer player would not kick someone in the head. You do not do it. Nobody does.

“I accept that otherwise you are a good person and it’s your first time before the court.”

The youth pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday to assault occasioning bodily harm on April 5.

Apart from an administrative punishment of 20 days suspension from school, the court placed him on probation for 12 months and handed him 80 hours community service.

No conviction was recorded against him.

Gympie Times

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