Man's head 'deformed' in brutal teen attack
A TEENAGER'S brutal assault outside the Wharf Tavern, Mooloolaba left his victim with a deformed head, fractures to the eye socket, nose and in need of multiple surgeries.
The attacker was 16 at the time, and appeared before the Children's Court of Queensland, Maroochydore on Wednesday aged 17.
He pleaded guilty to the grievous bodily harm of a 26-year-old stranger.
The defendant, who cannot be named under the Youth Justice Act, had a long history of violence which resulted in court-ordered community service and probation.
Crown prosecutor Aleksandra Nikolic told the court the latest attack unfolded when the defendant demanded cigarettes from a man, 26, who was leaving the Wharf Tavern with his girlfriend about 2am in July 2017.
When the man said he did not have any, the defendant threatened to bash him and snatched his pouch of tobacco.
The court heard the defendant was then choked to unconsciousness. Though the details surrounding this attack were unclear to the defence and prosecution, it was conceded this related to the cigarette incident.
The defendant then regained consciousness to find his victim "patting him down" and his possessions scattered on the ground around him.
The teenager jumped up, punched the 26-year-old in the face several times and as the victim fell to his hands and knees, the defendant continued to kick him in the face as someone tried to restrain him.
He fled the scene before paramedics arrived and treated the victim for his serious, extensive injuries, for double vision, bruising and an obvious deformity to the face.
The victim was taken to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
He underwent an eye and nose reconstruction on July 31, and surgery involving screws and neuro-mesh, and further surgery in October to align his forehead.
The court heard a specialist advised without surgical intervention, the man would likely have suffered serious forehead disfigurement, leakage of sinus content, numbness of the forehead, continued double vision and ongoing headaches.
The victim's impact statement was read in part to the court, and told the 26-year-old had suffered significant adverse effects of the attack including multiple surgeries, pain, intensive recovery and he was now unable to ride a bike, an activity he previously enjoyed.
Judge Glen Cash QC said the defendant's initial reaction upon regaining consciousness may not be considered "unreasonable", but the kicks that followed were "inexcusable".
The court heard the teenager had not shown remorse for his actions until he read the victim impact statement the night before his court appearance.
The defendant was supported in court by his mother, grandfather and some of his siblings.
Judge Cash said sending a juvenile to jail was the "sentence of last resort", but considered detention the only appropriate action considering the defendant's history and the violence, damage and consequences of his actions.
The 17-year-old was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, to serve six months.
Judge Cash said this was less than the 70 per cent default requirement, and did not record a conviction.
He warned upon his release, the defendant would be dealt with in the adult system if he committed any further crimes.