Coward punch attacker avoids jail
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.