The young victim of a brutal one-punch attack is fuming over the sentence handed to his attacker after even the magistrate conceded it could have killed him.
The young victim of a brutal one-punch attack is fuming over the sentence handed to his attacker after even the magistrate conceded it could have killed him.

‘I could be dead’: Punch victim’s fury over punishment

THE young victim of a brutal one-punch attack on a Cairns CBD street is fuming over the sentence handed to his attacker - a bouncer - after even the magistrate conceded it could have killed him.

Kyle Gilbert, 19, was out with his girlfriend and friends on August 16 last year when he was wrongfully accused of inappropriately touching a woman and kicked out the Attic Nightclub.

The Cairns Magistrates Court heard he was then approached by the woman's partner Duane Barter and a group of his friends on Shields St several hours later who surrounded him before Mr Barter punched him in the face.

 

Duane Barter, 30, who was sentenced to probation for a one punch attack on Kyle Gilbert in the Cairns CBD in August 2020. Picture: Facebook
Duane Barter, 30, who was sentenced to probation for a one punch attack on Kyle Gilbert in the Cairns CBD in August 2020. Picture: Facebook

 

Mr Gilbert has little memory of the incident and was knocked unconscious, just recalling waking up in Cairns Hospital with a head wound that needed to be glued back together, a concussion and facial bruising and swelling.

Barter, 30, who the court heard had worked as a bouncer for more than a decade although was not on duty at the time, was handed two years probation for assault occasioning bodily harm and ordered to pay the victim $1000 compensation by Magistrate Mark Nolan who had warned him a prison sentence was in range.

Speaking outside court, Mr Gilbert said he had hoped for a tougher penalty.

"I could be dead, I could be brain damaged, I could be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life," he said.

"He's been lucky and I've been even luckier."

Mr Gilbert said he still struggled going out and had trouble sleeping for a long time after the attack.

One punch victim Kyle Gilbert outside the Cairns Magistrates Court where his attacker, off duty bouncer Duane Barter, was sentenced for his assault in the Cairns CBD.
One punch victim Kyle Gilbert outside the Cairns Magistrates Court where his attacker, off duty bouncer Duane Barter, was sentenced for his assault in the Cairns CBD.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident which Mr Gilbert said was confronting as he had no memory of it.

Magistrate Nolan said Barter should be well aware in his profession about alcohol fuelled violence.

"When these sort of things happen, horrible, horrible consequences have flown out of the back of it," he said.

"People have died.

"You are fortunate on so many levels this has not occurred."

The court heard Barter initially started walking away after the punch, but returned and put Mr Gilbert in the recovery position and stayed until help arrived.

He also handed himself into the police station the following day.

Defence solicitor Oliviero Bolli said Barter's security license had been suspended due to the charge and the incident was "isolated" as he had wrongly believed Mr Gilbert had assaulted his partner.

Originally published as 'I could be dead': Punch victim's fury over attacker's punishment



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