$5000 night out
A ONE-PUNCH style attack in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct almost resulted in a term of imprisonment for a 27-year-old man.
Luke William Darren Godfrey appeared in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court this week to plead guilty to a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm in public while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said Godfrey had known his victim for about two years and was out drinking and socialising with him on the night of February 12.
At 10.20pm, the pair started to argue while in the smoking area at KC’s. The court was told Godfrey grabbed his friend around the throat and the pair started to “wrestle”.
Ms Smith said after they had been separated, the victim tried to shake hands and apologise but Godfrey punched him in the mouth, splitting his lip and rendering him unconscious after he fell back and hit the footpath with his head.
During an interview with police on February 23, Godfrey said he couldn’t believe what he’d done and apologised repeatedly.
Defence solicitor Sherrie Meade said there was “history” between the two men and “quite a bit of alcohol [consumed] on both parties’ sides”. She said the final straw was a remark the victim would have known was a “red flag” and she submitted Godfrey was “not a violent person Your Honour”.
“He’s extremely remorseful and he’s so thankful nothing more serious happened,” she said. Magistrate Ron Muirhead said it was well publicised that these sorts of attacks “can result in persons actually dying”.
He said in his view, courts had a duty to impose an appropriate penalty to discourage this sort of behaviour otherwise “it sends the wrong message”.
Godfrey was in tears by the time prison was mentioned but Mr Muirhead said he took into account his young age and lack of criminal history.
Godfrey was fined $2000, ordered to pay $3000 and complete 60 hours of unpaid community service.
Mr Muirhead noted he was about to travel to France to be with his fiancé but he recorded the conviction nonetheless.
“I don’t know how that’s going to affect your visa but the fact is you’ve only got yourself to blame,” he said.