Guilty plea to knife attack on stranger

JOSHUA Ronald Hayes was hell-bent on hurting someone the night he plunged a knife into a stranger's chest in a Yeppoon street.

The Rockhampton man yester- day pleaded guilty in Rockhamp- ton Magistrates Court to unlaw- ful wounding.

According to evidence Hayes was evicted from The Coast Nightclub early on November 12 for erratic behaviour which in- cluded trying to fight patrons.

Upon his eviction, Hayes at- tempted to coax security staff and onlookers into a fight before he set his sights on 28-year-old Alec James Howieson.

He approached Mr Howieson, who was in a nearby car park, yelling at him: "You, you baldy headed ...'' before punching him repeatedly.

A fight ensued with both par- ties throwing punches before nightclub security broke them up. Mr Howieson tried to leave by walking around the corner but Hayes again approached him, this time producing a knife and remarking: "I'll show you how we fight in Melbourne.''

Hayes lunged at him, slicing him on the left side of the head. Mr Howieson tried to escape, run- ning down the street before he tripped on a garden bed and land- ed on his back.

Hayes caught up with him, plunging the knife into the right side of Mr Howieson's chest be- fore fleeing with a group of mates in a white Commodore, telling them: "Let's go I've just stabbed the ....''

Mr Howieson managed to walk back to the nightclub despite feel- ing what he described as "white- hot pain''. Security staff adminis- tered first-aid before calling an ambulance.

Hayes was initially charged with attempted murder but the charge was dropped yesterday as he pleaded guilty to the less seri- ous charge of unlawful wound- ing. He will be sentenced in Rock- hampton District Court at a later date.

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