King hit at wake fractures skull

MATTHEW John Eveleigh was grieving for his friend – electrocuted teenager Rueben Barnes – when his emotions got the better of him and he punched another mourner.

Both had been at the wake for Rueben on November 20 when the attack occurred in Brown Street at 11pm.

The victim suffered a fractured skull and required surgery at a Brisbane hospital after being punched in the left eye.

Police were able to track Eveleigh down through the text message he sent the victim the next day apologising for his actions.

Yesterday Eveleigh, 18, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

Police prosecutor Barbara Barton said the victim and a friend had left the wake and walked towards their vehicle about 20 metres away. When he was about 5m away from it he heard a voice yelling.

“Without provocation he (Eveleigh) punched him with his right fist,” Ms Barton told the court.

“The defendant said, ‘My name is Matt, that’s one punch; there will be more next time. If you ever come down here again I will get you’.”

Duty lawyer Paul Wonnocott said there had been an earlier incident between the two teenagers.

He said Eveleigh, an apprentice builder, was very remorseful and police only identified him because of his apology text message.

The victim still requires further medical attention. Magistrate Annette Hennessy fined Eveleigh $1000 and ordered he pay the victim $1500 compensation.

No conviction was recorded against him, as he had no prior history.



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