'Cowardly' attacker gains reprieve from jail
A CHINCHILLA man has been warned he's come "as close as you can” to jail in Chinchilla Magistrates Court last week.
Benjamin Colin Heit attended court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, one count of drunk or disorderly conduct in a permit/licenced premises, and one court of authority required to possess explosives.
The court heard police conducted a search of Heit's vehicle on March 21 where they located bullets, despite him not holding a weapons licence.
The defence explained Heit liked to collect old ammunition.
Police said Heit attended the Commercial Hotel in Chinchilla on March 24 where he became involved in an altercation with another man, and both were removed from the premises.
The court heard the Heit followed the man, and punched him from behind. The fight was broken up by a bystander and the victim was taken to hospital.
Police said the event was caught on CCTV footage.
In his statements the defence said Heit had a history of drug abuse starting when he was 17 years old.
Attending rehabilitation three times, the defence said it's been a "real major battle” and Heit has made strong efforts to recover.
Magistrate Robbie Davies told Heit "it is to your credit that you've actually done something about it”.
But he also said the Heit attacked the victim in a "cowardly fashion” by approaching from behind.
Heit was sentenced to a four-month suspended sentence for the assault, convicted and not further punished for the other two charges, and ordered to pay $600 in compensation to the victim.
Magistrate Robbie Davies warned Heit and said "be very careful, you've come as close as you can to jail.”