Guilty plea to bashing, robbing 84-year-old carer

AFTER Matthew Alan Wilson beat an 84-year-old man in a shopping centre bathroom, he thought he had killed his victim, but proceeded to rob the gentleman and spend his money anyway.

The Maryborough man pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to robbery with personal violence, fraud and possessing a dangerous drug after the brutal attack on the elderly man, who was caring for his wife in a Chermside shopping centre at the time.

The court heard that in March this year the victim had heard Wilson, 22 at the time, making loud noises while in the bathroom of the centre, and had asked him if he needed help.

Wilson then punched the carer in the eye socket and the mouth; leaving him bleeding and unconscious.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker told the court the defendant thought he had killed the man, but stole his wallet anyway, and used the victim's  credit cards to buy $521.29  worth of goods.

"The complainant was washing his hands, and then remembers 'coming to' in the company of security…he was bleeding," Ms Baker said.

The man was taken to hospital with a broken nose and a cut to his lip that required stitches.

Wilson was arrested the next day.

Ms Baker said the victim could no longer care for his wife full-time following the incident, and had lost confidence in his driving skills.

"This was a callous assault on a vulnerable person. The defendant said he thought he had killed him, but robbed him regardless."

At the time of the attack, Wilson was subject to a suspended sentence after attacking two police officers while in custody in a previous incident.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge said his client had been using the drug ice since he was a young teenager, but had a "clear head" after his nine months in pre-sentence custody.

Mr Rutledge said his client was currently studying to become a nurse, and wanted to help Indigenous Australian communities in the Wide Bay Burnett Region.

Speaking to the court, Wilson said he was "very sorry" for his actions.

"I'm trying to rehabilitate myself and hopefully you'll see me in the future helping midwives in Cherburg," Wilson said.

Before handing down his sentence, Justice Ian Dearden said he "could not stand looking" at the photographs of the victim's facial injuries.

"It [the attack] was catastrophic for this man, all he did was go to work … looking after his wife," Justice Dearden said.

"He ran into you, who acted irrationally, violently and bizarrely."

The judge said he commended Wilson on his efforts to complete a university degree, but warned he needed to "stay off illegal drugs" if he were to stay in the community.

Justice Dearden handed down a three-year head sentence, with a parole date set for March next year.



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