Word triggers violent attack
AT THE end of a night filled with tequila shots and vodka, one word was enough to trigger a vicious attack that left a man hospitalised with substantial injuries.
Brendan John Lang encountered a man he knew from school and was - until that point - friendly with on a night out on January 21.
As the two men departed a St George licensed premises at around 12.30am, 18-year-old Lang overheard the word "black" muttered from his former friend and future victim's lips.
Not hearing the context of the conversation or any other words come from the man's mouth, the young Warwick man launched straight into attack mode.
Lang confronted the man aggressively, demanding to know what his problem was and whether he wanted to fight. He then pushed the other man in the chest, before the man turned to walk away.
Before the man could retreat, Lang "king hit" him with a closed fist.
With one punch not enough to quell his midnight anger, Lang followed the man and repeatedly punched him as he tried to get away.
The victim suffered "substantial" injuries during what was described in court this week as a "violent and unprovoked" attack.
He was admitted to hospital for head trauma observation and sustained bruising and swelling to his face.
The entire altercation was captured on CCTV.
Lang this week pleaded guilty in the Warwick Magistrates Court to a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Police Prosecutor Steve de Lissa suggested jail time be considered as an appropriate punishment for the attack.
Defence solicitor Daniel Habermann could offer little explanation for his client's drunken actions, saying it was that one word that set him off.
"He heard the word 'black' and assumed it was going to mean trouble. He didn't want to hear anything else," Mr Habermann said.
Lang, who had no previous criminal history, was sentenced to 12 months probation. No conviction was recorded against him.