Coward punch at­tacker avoids jail

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Elle Far­cic

A 20-year-old man who punched a stranger in the face with­out warn­ing out­side an Al­bany night­club has been spared jail af­ter a judge of­fered him the chance to turn his life around.

Tim­o­thy Eli­jah Thorne was drunk, shirt­less and look­ing for a fight when he ap­proached Simeon Dun­bar and his friend out­side the night­club in the early hours of Novem­ber 26.

When the two strangers turned away from Thorne, he punched Mr Dun­bar in the jaw with­out warn­ing and knocked him to the ground.

The un­pro­voked coward punch at­tack left Mr Dun­bar with a bro­ken jaw and in need of surgery.

District Court Judge Mark Her­ron handed Thorne a 14-month con­di­tion­ally sus­pended jail term on Fri­day for caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm to Mr Dun­bar.

He told Thorne coward punch at­tack­ers usu­ally ended up in jail, but said he was giv­ing him a chance to take help and turn his life around.

Judge Her­ron said Thorne needed to un­der­stand that he could not con­tinue to act vi­o­lently or go out look­ing for fights when he was drunk.

“At the time you were look­ing for trou­ble,” he said.

“You punched Mr Dun­bar with­out warn­ing and with­out any provo­ca­tion.” Thorne in­di­cated he would be happy to par­tic­i­pate in vic­tim me­di­a­tion with Mr Dun­bar.

The court was told Thorne had a dis­ad­van­taged up­bring­ing, was “in­cred­i­bly re­morse­ful” and had not con­sumed al­co­hol or re­turned to the night­club since the inci dent.

Pros­e­cu­tor Zarah Burgess sub­mit­ted the com­mu­nity would be bet­ter served if Thorne was re­ha­bil­i­tated and had the chance to work or study, ra- ther than be­ing jailed. Judge Her­ron warned Thorne that if he com­mit­ted an­other se­ri­ous crime over the next 14-months he would find him­self be­hind bars.

“I don’t want that to hap­pen, I don’t want to have to send you to prison,” he said.

“I am try­ing to do this for your ben­e­fit”.

Thorne’s or­der in­cludes pro­gram and su­per­vi­sion re­quire­ments.

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