Victim tackled from behind and punched while unconscious
A young man who carried out a cowardly drunken assault on an older man by tackling him when his back was turned, knocking him to the ground and punching him in the head about six times while the victim was unconscious, has been given a suspended jail term.
Alexander Richard Mapes, 22, pleaded guilty on March 12 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said Mapes and the victim were at a party in Gracemere on April 19, 2019, celebrating a friend’s birthday.
She said they were involved in a verbal argument early in the evening and the victim asked Mapes to leave the party.
However, Mapes refused.
The victim escorted Mapes out to the front of the house and again told him to leave.
Ms Lawrence said Mapes walked across the road and the victim turned to walk back inside.
She said someone warned the victim to “watch out” and then Mapes tackled the victim to the ground where he hit his head and lost consciousness.
Ms Lawrence said witnesses watched as Mapes jumped on and punched the unconscious man about six times before they intervened and pulled Mapes off.
She said the victim was still unconscious when emergency services arrived and he sustained a three centimetre laceration to the left side of his face.
Ms Lawrence said this assault was an escalation in Mapes’ offending.
Mapes had been sentenced in Yeppoon Magistrates Court in April 2019 after verbally abusing a female and kneeing her in the stomach after she scratched his car.
He had also been before the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on three occasions for wilful damage, along with drug and violence offences.
Defence barrister Eoin Mac Giolla Ri said his client, who worked primarily on fishing boats, didn’t recall much of the night of the assault and described the alcohol he was drinking as possibly homemade spirits he grabbed from his grandmother’s alcohol stash.
He said Mapes was having relationship difficulties at the time.
Mr Mac Giolla Ri said Mapes had not worked since Christmas, with his boat on the slipway for maintenance.
He said it had been two years since Mapes last came to the attention of police.
Judge Jeff Clarke said letters tendered to court written by Mapes and his mother showed Mapes was disappointed in his own behaviour and had worked on changing how he conducted himself.
He said Mapes’ mother described the offending as “out of character” for her son.
Judge Clarke said Mapes’ letter also expressed remorse and insight into the impact the attack had on the victim.
He said the victim wrote in his impact statement the attack had changed his life “dramatically”.
Judge Clarke said the victim had lost his confidence, his relationship and his job.
“It’s not unusual for people who experience such attacks to experience these things,” he said.
Judge Clarke sentenced Mapes to 18 months prison, wholly suspended and operational for two years. A conviction was recorded.