Aggressor 'feels bad' about kick

A MAN says he can't be “100% sure” he saw a former schoolmate punch and knock a man to the ground because he was highly intoxicated at the time.

Alexander James Cranston faces trial this week in the Rockhampton District Court for causing grievous bodily harm to Robert Saitta on October 13, 2007 in Yeppoon.

An alternative count of assault occasioning bodily harm has also been laid for the jury to consider.

The Crown alleges Cranston punched Mr Saitta once in the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the footpath.

Yesterday Eli Machno, 25, who knew Cranston from high school, was produced as the Crown's final witness.

On Tuesday Machno was sentenced to four-and-a-half years' imprisonment for grievous bodily harm after he kicked Mr Saitta while he lay on the ground unconscious.

He gave evidence that what happened was a ‘blur' because he was ‘highly intoxicated' in the early hours of the morning after drinking at the Strand Hotel.

He said he left the hotel and while walking down Normanby Street noticed Cranston arguing with another man.

Cranston punched him once to the head and he saw the man fall to ground.

Machno said during a “stupid, spur-of-the-moment” decision he kicked Mr Saitta in the head.

He said he could not be sure whether he had seen Mr Saitta move before he kicked him.

Defence lawyer Tom Polley asked whether he “could be 100% sure you saw Alex hit him?”

“No, not 100% sure,” Machno replied.

Machno confirmed to Mr Polley that he was offered a reduction to his sentence if he gave evidence during the trial.

Machno said he regretted the attack.

“I feel bad about it. I never meant to hurt him like that,” he said.

The trial continues today.



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