Dad’s jaw broken by drunk louts who took fishing rods
A MIDDLE-AGED man had his jaw broken after he was "viciously" bashed by two drunken men at the front door of his Lowood home.
The victim had been in his lounge room at 2.30am, when he heard a noise outside his house, as if someone was trying to open his garage door.
When the 49-year-old dad went to investigate, he came across two drunk men, Andrew Rex Stewart and John Robert Steven Nicholas, in his front yard.
After a verbal altercation, Stewart walked over and shoved the man.
When the victim pushed back, Nicholas told the man he felt like punching him in the face, then proceeded to do so.
Both Stewart and Nicholas unleashed a barrage of punches at the victim's head which caused him to fall to his knees.
The victim tried to cover his face as both attackers continued to deliver punches and kicks.
At Ipswich District Court, Stewart, 24, and Nicholas, 26, each pleaded guilty to one count of grevious bodily harm.
Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand described the drunken attack as "unprovoked and prolonged."
The victim told police at one stage during the assault he could feel his head being kicked from one side to the other.
A neighbour heard the commotion and intervened. Another resident in the street phoned the police.
Before fleeing the scene, Stewart and Nicholas went into the victim's garage and stole some fishing rods.
As a result, the pair was further charged with burglary.
Mr Le Grand said the men were arrested by police soon after the January 11 incident.
He said prior to the assault, Stewart and Nicholas had been drinking at a friend's house in Lowood but were kicked out due to their behaviour.
The victim and his attackers did not know each other at the time.
The victim sustained cuts, bruises had his jaw broken, which required surgery.
Judge Greg Koppenol told Stewart and Nicholas they had committed a "vicious and cowardly" attack on an innocent man.
"Your actions have had a permanent negative physical, emotional and financial impact on the victim," he said.
Judge Koppenol noted Nicholas had a "significant and lengthy" criminal history which included offences of violence.
Stewart had a less serious criminal history with prior convictions for public nusiance charges.
Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme, who represented Nicholas, said his client and Stewart were "grossly intoxicated" when they assaulted the man.
"It doesn't provide an excuse for their behaviour but rather and explanation," he said.
Mr Seaholme said his client had a "hard" upbringing and had started using drugs when he was 13.
He said Nicholas was now a father and did seasonal work on farms for employment.
Stewarts' defence barrister Rick Taylor said his client has limited recollection of the offence, due to his intoxication.
He said the assault was out of character for Stewart and that his client had since given up drinking.
"My client has taken the burden of his own actions quite personally," Mr Stewart said.
"He appreciates that it's ruined his life, his family's and the victim's."
Stewart was sentenced to three years jail. He will be released on parole after serving seven months of actual time in prison.
Nicholas was also sentenced to three years in jail.
He will be released on parole after serving 12 months behind bars.