Punch knocks teeth out

WHEN a man wouldn't shake Daniel Liam Mansfield's hand during Australia Day celebrations he punched him so hard it snapped a tooth off at the gum.

Tipping the scales at 150kg, Mansfield, nicknamed Tank by his mates, packed plenty of punch.

His victim, 80kg Joseph Leonard McLucas, was only hit once but would still undergo more than $20,000 worth of restorative dental work.

The pair were strangers to each other when they met on East Street, Rockhampton, on the morning of January 27 last year.

Mr McLucas, 18, politely refused to shake hands and walked away before Mansfield, 25, landed the costly blow.

Mr McLucas fell to his knees and started spitting up blood and teeth.

One tooth was snapped off at the gum and another was knocked completely out. Other teeth were chipped and loose.

Mansfield walked past the teenager, telling him he should have shaken his hand.

He jumped into his car and was driven to a service station where he washed a cut on his hand from the attack.

Back on East Street, a mate took off his shirt to apply pressure to Mr McLucas's mouth before an ambulance arrived and took him to Rockhampton Hospital.

Mr McLucas was then taken to a Brisbane hospital to have his lip reconstructed.

On Thursday Mansfield blubbered in Rockhampton District Court after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr McLucas.

He wiped his nose with tissues from his pocket as barrister Jeff Clarke told the court Mansfield was “a young man of high character” who was “very sorry for what he did”.

Mansfield was jailed for two years but he will only spend six months behind bars.

Crown prosecutor Julie Marsden described the Australia Day incident as an “unprovoked, cowardly attack on a young man”.

Mansfield was supported in court by his girlfriend and by his parents, who he lives with at Taroomball, between Yeppoon and Emu Park on the Capricorn Coast.

Mr Clarke handed up in court a large series of references for the machinery operator who he said “is not the type of fellow who goes around looking for trouble”.

“His behaviour on that night was entirely out of character,” Mr Clarke said.

“Mr Mansfield does not represent an ongoing threat to the community.

Mr Clarke said Mansfield had been on antidepressants since a traffic accident in 2006 when the elderly driver of the car he collided with died at the scene.

Mansfield asked his barrister to offer a public apology to Mr McLucas.

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