Convicted killer stalked Rocky victim from CBD pub
MONTHS after being released from prison for manslaughter, a violent offender stalked a drunk stranger and attacked him from behind while walking back to a motel.
The unprovoked attack was described as "callous" and "cowardly".
Sebastian Gilbert, 38, was released on parole on September 23, 2019, having served almost all of the nine-year prison term he was sentenced to for stabbing a woman 13 times in a Cairns CBD laneway in 2010.
Months after his release, CCTV in Rockhampton's CBD captured a drunk Gilbert loitering on February 12 before his victim walked the street alone about 1am.
Gilbert's Rockhampton victim had been in the Beef Capital for work and had a few drinks at the Oxford Hotel Pub before he escorted one colleague to a taxi and then walked back to his apartment at The Edge.
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CCTV footage played in Rockhampton District Court as Gilbert was sentenced yesterday for assault occasioning bodily harm (AOBH) while armed, showed the victim walk across Fitzroy St along East St towards The Edge, followed by Gilbert moments later.
Gilbert, who pleaded guilty to the AOBH charge, crept up behind his victim when the man was in the middle of the lane for motorists going north over the bridge.
Crown prosecutor Joshua Francis said the defendant had armed himself with two bottles he picked up from tables at the Oxford which were used in the attack.
Gilbert hit the victim in the head from behind, and again in the face before the victim fell to the road, dislocating his left shoulder and fractured his scapular.
Gilbert continued his assault on the victim while the man was on the ground.
However, the victim got up and moved into a fighting stance.
Gilbert backed off, circling him a few times before leaving the scene.
Mr Francis said the attack was unprovoked and not only did CCTV track Gilbert's movements leading up to the assault, but it also tracked him to where he was staying at the time - a diversion centre - wearing the same clothes as the attacker in the CCTV footage.
He said the victim wrote in his impact statement that he missed out on his 25th wedding anniversary overseas trip due to surgery required to repair the injury sustained in the assault and had not been able to move on with his life with the matter still before the courts.
Mr Francis said Gilbert, who had been sentenced to a nine-year prison term for manslaughter in the Supreme Court in Cairns on December 5, 2012, had been deemed to have low prospects of rehabilitation and was a danger to the community, particularly when alcohol was involved.
Reports of Gilbert's manslaughter offence published in the Cairns Post stated Gilbert stabbed a 39-year-old Kowanyama woman 13 times with a pair of scissors and left her to die in a Cairns CBD laneway.
Gilbert told police he had attacked the woman after she had insulted him.
Pathologist Dr Paul Botteril performed the woman's autopsy and told the court she received 13 stab wounds, mostly to the chest, shoulder and neck, and it was a wound that pierced her heart which caused her death.
She had a blood-alcohol content reading seven times the legal driving limit when she died.
Gilbert, a Kowanyama man, was homeless at the time of the manslaughter offence.
Justice Jim Henry described the manslaughter as "ferocious".
Rockhampton District Court Judge Jeff Clarke reiterated Justice Henry's comments about Gilbert's criminal record - it indicated a lack of respect for the law and lack of compliance.
He said Gilbert's scissors used in the manslaughter offence had been used to chop up his marijuana.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said Gilbert had been a heavy user of marijuana since he was 16 and a heavy alcohol drinker since 17.
He said Gilbert's father had been an alcoholic who died in 2002 and his mother died while Gilbert was in prison for manslaughter.
He said Gilbert had come to Central Queensland after his release from prison to spend time with family and had planned to return to the Gulf country, where he grew up, before he stayed in Rockhampton and attacked a stranger in the street.
Judge Clarke said the reports before the court showed Gilbert returned to smoking marijuana 1.5 months after released on parole.
He said the fact the victim and Gilbert engaged in "shadow boxing" before Gilbert left proved the attack was "callous and cowardly".
Judge Clarke said Gilbert's expression during the sentencing proceedings raised concerns he had not accepted responsibility for his actions and was not remorseful.
"You've taken a life for goodness sake," he said.
Judge Clarke sentenced Gilbert to three years' prison for the Rockhampton assault.
He declared 272 days pre-sentence custody and set parole release after serving 15 months - on May 4, 2021.