Coast one-punch death: Killer 'should never have been out'

Bruce Steensen died after a scuffle in Mooloolaba in 2014.
Bruce Steensen died after a scuffle in Mooloolaba in 2014.

THE partner of a man killed in a senseless one-punch attack on the Sunshine Coast is suing the state in a landmark case claiming his killer should never have been on the streets.

Sonya Gay Law, 49, from Bongaree, claims the State Government or the parole board negligently put "the community at risk" when it failed to properly supervise and treat Jesse James Luke Patrick.

Patrick, 22, from New Zealand, is serving eight years in jail for the manslaughter of Bruce "Wolf" Steensen.

The 53-year-old footy veteran was killed in the early hours of February 22, 2014, when Patrick punched him on the side of the face, causing him to topple over and strike his head on concrete - fatally fracturing his skull - after a minor scuffle at Mooloolaba Esplanade.

Should parole boards keep criminals off the streets longer?

This poll ended on 29 May 2017.

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Yes, letting them out too early endangers lives.


No. Parole boards aren't fortunetellers, and do all they can to make the right call.


It's unfortunate, but we don't have enough prison space to keep them jailed.


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Patrick had a long history of violence and was on parole for assaulting his older neighbour months earlier.

Ms Law says in her claim filed in the District Court in Brisbane on February 27, that the state's negligence "allowed" Patrick "into the community" and gave him the opportunity to attack Steensen.

More on this at The Courier-Mail

Earlier, Jesse James Patrick, 23, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to the 2014 manslaughter.

On the night of February 22, 2014, Mr Steensen, his partner and a friend were walking along the Esplanade after drinking at the Mooloolaba Surf Club.

Mr Steensen saw a man, Patrick, standing on the road and yelling abuse at a passing car and told him to "pull your head in dickhead".

Patrick, who had already been in a scuffle with a friend that night, took offence and knocked Mr Steensen to the ground. They wrestled briefly before being pulled off each other.

Mr Steensen walked away telling his friends he was "getting too old" for fights. But Patrick remained incensed and ran towards Mr Steensen and punched him in the head.

Mr Steensen's head hit the ground heavily - fracturing his skull and causing brain bruising and bleeding that he never recovered from.

Topics:  editors picks one punch death parole board

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