Teen gets conviction for ‘right hook’ at Pinefest 2012
"IT didn't feel like it was that hard a punch."
That was how Jack Quinn Swayn described the blow that left a 17-year-old student in a coma with a fractured skull.
Speaking in Yeppoon Magistrates Court yesterday, Swayn, now aged 18, said he had been reacting to name calling from a group of teens gathered in the medium strip while crossing Normanby St, Yeppoon, during Pinefest celebrations last year. The court heard how Swayn, then 17, approached one teenager in the group he believed had been calling him "gay and a faggot", asking what his problem was, when Jakob Newton stepped in.
Witnesses described Swayn and Newton as having an "intense conversation" face to face, in the moments before the punch was thrown.
DIARY OF EVENTS
October 14, 2012: Pinefest punch
November 3, 2012: Newton home from hospital
November 11, 2013: Swayn found guilty
"Everyone was laughing, I threw a punch and then walked off," Swayn said.
Newton was described by a witness as receiving "a right hook" to the jaw, then falling backwards onto pavers, hitting his head.
Witnesses also described how Newton was going in and out of consciousness while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
Newton was flown to Brisbane with three fractures to the right side of his skull and bleeding on the brain.
Swayn's lawyer Doug Winning said his client was alone while Newton was with a group of friends.
Swayn had delivered one blow to Newton's left side and he fell to the ground.
Swayn said he never intended to fracture Newton's skull and the force was only a quick jab.
He also said he believed they would have hit him if he didn't hit them first.
Swayn was sentenced to two years probation, with a conviction recorded, after being found guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm.