How cigarette sparked vicious glassing
A HOMELESS teenager who glassed a man in the neck during a fight, which started over cigarettes, has narrowly missed spending time behind bars.
The cuts left on the man's neck after the Coolangatta attack were so severe he required 15 sutures.
Tyrell Jai Winnett pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court yesterday to unlawful wounding.
Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes said Winnett, who was 18 at the time, approached a man sitting on a bench near friends about 1.45am on February 15 last year and asked for a cigarette.
The court was told the man thought Winnett was after his phone and wallet so grabbed those off the bench and stood up.
Mr Hynes said Winnett left and returned shortly after with a friend when a fight broke out.
"The fracas spilled into the roadway," he said.
"At some point (Winnett) approached the complainant and had a bottle in hand."
Mr Hynes said Winnett punched the complainant's neck, breaking the bottle and leaving two large cuts.
The court was told Winnett did not realise he had a bottle in his hand and began "freaking out" when he realised what had happened.
Judge Catherine Muir sentenced Winnett to 12 months prison to be wholly suspended for an operational period of two years.
Defence barrister Nick McGhee said Winnett had an unhappy childhood which was marred by domestic violence.
He said at the time of the incident Winnett was homeless after a fight with his mother.
Since the incident Winnett has made up with his mother and was getting psychological counselling for anger management and other mental health issues.
Originally published as How cigarette sparked vicious glassing