Sol­dier jailed over as­sault

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SAM BIDEY

A SOL­DIER has been jailed for a bone- break­ing at­tack on two stu­dents af­ter a drunken night out in Townsville.

Bradley Dean Gin­ders Ma­son cow­ard- punched a 20year- old med­i­cal stu­dent, whose arm was in sling, be­fore at­tack­ing the man’s 22- yearold friend.

The first vic­tim was knocked un­con­scious and suf­fered a bro­ken jaw which re­quired surgery. The sec­ond had to have me­tal plates in­stalled in his face to re­pair a frac­ture to his eye socket.

Gin­ders Ma­son’s vic­tims did not know him and had no en­gage­ment with him be­fore his at­tack.

The 22- year- old of­fender was sen­tenced in Townsville District Court yes­ter­day af­ter plead­ing guilty to two counts of griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Amanda Payne said the vic­tims had at­tended a 21st birth­day party on Septem­ber 3, 2016, and were wait­ing for a bus about 1.30am in Flin­ders St when they were at­tacked with­out warn­ing.

Ms Payne said Gin­ders Ma­son was in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion with an un­known man be­fore the at­tack.

She said he had at­tempted to chase the man in Flin­ders St but failed to catch him.

Gin­ders Ma­son then walked over to the 20- year- old med­i­cal stu­dent and punched him in the face, be­liev­ing he was a friend of the un­known per­son.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Har­vey Wal­ters said his client was drunk on the night of the at­tacks and ex­pe­ri­enced “a mat­ter of sec­onds of mad­ness”.

Mr Wal­ters said Gin­ders Ma­son wanted to con­tinue his ca­reer in the army, and sub­mit­ted sev­eral ref­er­ences from su­pe­rior of­fi­cers to the court.

“He has ex­pressed sin­cere re­gret,” Mr Wal­ters said.

“He is cer­tainly deeply ashamed of what he has done to the army and his unit ( 2nd Bat­tal­ion, The Royal Aus­tra- lian Reg­i­ment) and the shame he has brought them with his ac­tions.”

The court heard the army’s Ma­jor David Hosie had in­di­cated that should Gin­ders Ma­son be im­pris­oned, his ser­vice with the army would be ter­mi­nated.

Mr Wal­ters said his client had un­der­gone 25 psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling ses­sions since the in­ci­dent and had en­gaged in restora­tive jus­tice with one of his vic­tims.

The 20- year- old de­clined the op­por­tu­nity to meet Gin­ders Ma­son but the 22- yearold ac­cepted an apol­ogy from the sol­dier, who also paid him $ 2500 in com­pen­sa­tion.

Judge Greg Lyn­ham de­scribed the vic­tims as “in­no­cent by­standers” who were at­tacked by a “com­plete stranger”.

Judge Lyn­ham took into ac­count Gin­ders Ma­son’s strong ef­forts to­wards re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, the fact he had not re­of­fended in the two years since the in­ci­dent and his pos­i­tive ref­er­ences.

How­ever, the judge said it was ap­pro­pri­ate for Gin­ders Ma­son to serve ac­tual time be­hind bars, sen­tenc­ing him to two- and- a- half years’ im­pris­on­ment to be sus­pended af­ter four months.

Bradley Dean Gin­ders Ma­son.

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