Charleville dad’s unprovoked attack left man unable to walk

A YOUNG Charleville father's unprovoked and drug-fuelled attack on two men was so vicious, one of the victims almost never walked again due to his severe injuries, a court has heard.

Court documents show Jake Allan Smith, 24, appeared in Charleville District Court on March 18 to face one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm whilst in company and one count of grievous bodily harm for an unprovoked attack on two men who were visiting Charleville in March 2019.

The court heard the two male victims, 39 and 51 years of age, had stopped in Charleville for the night and had left a licensed venue after watching a game of football when Smith, 22-years-old at the time, and a friend launched their assault from behind.

Judge Bryne QC detailed that one of the victims was king hit while the other  was punched in the face which resulted in both men falling to the ground.

The court heard Smith became more violent and began stomping on the victim's lower leg which caused an open fracture and dislocation of the right ankle.

Judge Byrne said the victim required serious surgery to his ankle and if it had not been for medical intervention, the man may have never walked again.

Judge Byrne said while the victims were laying on the ground, Smith and his friend said something similar to "you may as well have this too" before throwing a can of alcohol at one of the men.

The court heard it was only due to a woman intervening and calling police that the attack was stopped.

"A third party intervened who happened to know both you and your counterpart and stopped this assault occurring any further than it did," Judge Byrne said.

"Nonetheless, you took it upon yourself to tell her that if she rang the police, you would 'ruin her life'.

A victim impact statement was provided to the court which detailed the man had since gained only limited mobility in the 12 months since the attack.

"The reality is that, whilst I do not suggest for a moment that a 51 year old man is an old man, such a serious orthopaedic injury of that nature to a man of his age is very unlikely to rectify itself," Judge Byrne said.

"He will be left with the scars of your actions in all likelihood for at least many, many years, if not the whole of his life.

Judge Byrne said he did take into account the hardships Smith had experienced throughout his life and noted he was under the effects of drugs while dealing with the loss of a family member.

"They (the hardships) are not said, however, to be the reason for your offending, but they do provide a background to the likely reason for your offending," Judge Byrne said.

"He has been instructed and it is not contested by the prosecution that you were under the effects of methylamphetamines or ice and alcohol at the time of the attack."

Judge Byrne warned Smith he had come close to spending time behind bars due to the nature of his violent crimes.

"Public displays of violence, whether drunken or otherwise, must be met with harsh punishment," he said.

"The attitude of the community is strictly against that occurring, particularly where people who are going about their own business and for no reason are struck and left with serious injuries."

However, he opted to give Smith a chance to get his life on the straight and narrow and took his early plea of guilty into account. 

For the charge of unlawfully doing grievous bodily harm, Smith was sentenced to three years in prison, wholly suspended, with an operational period of four years.

On the second grevous bodily harm charge, Judge Byrne imposed a 12-month intensive correction order, which included visits from a corrective services officer at least twice a week, mandatory counselling and drug testing.

Charleville Western Times

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