Mate stabbed in face after argument over best Aussie state
A MUSICIAN stabbed his drinking buddy in the face and body after he was bested in an argument about which Aussie state was the best.
What began as a day drinking between friends ended in a bloody struggle at Seaforth after Damian Arthur Woollam grabbed a knife.
The pair began sinking booze at Seaforth about noon on December 3 last year and continued until about midnight.
Mackay District Court heard the pair had heated words over which Australian state was better, which led to blows after Woollam started the fight.
Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said Woollam was bested and left saying "you don't know who you're dealing with" and for the victim to watch his back.
About 30 to 40 minutes later, Woollam returned to pick up his stuff armed with a stick and lashed out at the victim, striking his head.
Ms O'Rourke said the victim stood up and approached Woollam, who armed himself with a knife.
"There was a wrestle during which the (victim) felt blows to his head and chest," she said.
"As it turned out (Woollam) had stabbed him. He finally noticed the bleeding and managed to disarm (Woollam)."
He suffered two deep stab wounds to the cheek and shoulder.
"He left the (victim) bleeding and lied to police about being attacked first," Ms O'Rourke said.
The 46 year old was initially charged with malicious act with intent but pleaded guilty on Monday to wounding.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said Woollam had been "concerned about his safety" when retrieving his property after the victim "had very clearly gotten the best of my client" at the early fight.
"So he armed himself with a stick. He was hoping to hit the (victim) with a stick to show he means business essentially, then pick up his possessions and leave," Mr McLennan said.
"However when the (victim) got up and advanced on him he became frightened and grabbed the knife.
"It's not the case he brought the knife with him."
Mr McLennan said his client was a talented musician, who was born in Western Australia and had moved to Seaforth for a sea change. He had been performing at the Seaforth Bowls Clubs.
The court heard he had been assaulted in 2006 and as a result was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Woollam has been in custody since the incident.
Judge Julie Dick said the courts recognised being in jail would have been harder for Woollam because he was not able to have visitors.
"I have read the victim impact statement, this has had a devastating effect on the (man)," Judge Dick said.
"It was a stupid argument in the first place that turned violent and then even more violent."
Woollam was jailed for two and a half years immediately suspended. The jail term will hang over his head for three years.