Boxing KO manoeuvre used in post nightclub assault
A SEEMINGLY unprovoked assault of a young plumber apprentice after drinking at the Zodiac nightclub has left the victim with lifelong pain and health problems.
"The manoeuvre this defendant placed upon the victim hasn't been seen since the world title fight of Harley and Frazier in 1975," crown prosecutor Joshua Francis said.
He was talking about the right upper cut, left hook, right hook combination used by Arthur Harry Ian Weazel on his victim as the pair lingered outside Zambrero on East St about 5.40am on May 12, 2018.
Weazel, 29, pleaded guilty on November 11, 2020, in Rockhampton District Court to one count of assault causing grievous bodily harm.
During sentencing on November 13, Mr Francis said the 21-year-old victim engaged in friendly conversation with Weazel and shook hands moments prior to the assault.
The victim's jaw was fractured in two places - on the right and left side - and had plates and screws inserted to rectify the injury.
However, the victim has still suffered a maligned jaw and his face looked different to what it was prior to the assault.
The victim was unable to eat for six to eight weeks after the assault, and told by doctors to take this time off work; however, he was only able to afford to take three weeks off work.
Mr Francis said the victim will have a lifelong difficulty chewing and was now hypervigilant.
CCTV footage played in court showed Weazel and the victim leaving the nightclub minutes apart.
The victim stopped to grab a kebab, which he dropped on the ground at one point, before he and his friend ran in to Weazel and others outside Zambrero's.
Mr Francis said the victim's last memory before the assault was asking Weazel what he did for a living.
He said just before the first punch, the victim can be seen to slightly touch the defendant's chest.
Despite the knockout combination, the victim stumbled, but did not lose consciousness.
He and his friend went home with the victim realising how bad his injuries were when he woke the next day.
Mr Francis said Weazel told police he punched the victim as he was "a sloppy drunk" who had leaned on him and aggravated a pre-existing back injury.
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He said Weazel claimed he had first pushed the victim off him before punching him, however the CCTV showed that did not occur.
"The defendant was trying to use his back injury to justify actions that cannot be excused," Mr Francis said.
He said the combination, akin to that used in the 1975 world title fight, was intended to knock the victim out.
The incident outside Zambrero was not the first violence offence Weazel committed.
In 2015, he was convicted of assault occasioning bodily harm after an incident at Charleville which started at the local golf club shortly before midnight.
Mr Francis said Weazel and the victim had been in a verbal argument and the victim challenged Weazel to a physical fight, which Weazel declined.
He said as Weazel walked home, he decided the victim's actions warranted a "beating" and walked a further 30 mins to reach the victim's house.
When the victim answered the door, he was naked.
Weazel punched the victim once to the face, causing the victim to fall backwards, and Weazel entered the house, pinned the victim to the ground and continued punching him.
"This is not necessarily out of character for him," Mr Francis said.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said Weazel realised he had inherited a problem with alcohol from his biological parents - something he discovered after he went to live with his biological mother and biological brother (both heavy drinkers) for a time in Brisbane in recent years.
He said Weazel had been raised by his adopted parents to have a strong work ethic, but stopped working after a workplace accident injured his back in August 2017.
Mr Lo Monaco said Weazel became frustrated and depressed about not being able to provide for his family as his adopted father had done, was prescribed the anti-anxiety medication and pain medication Lyrica.
He said Weazel became addicted to Lyrica and gained weight at an alarming rate.
Mr Lo Monaco said Weazel struggled with daily chores due to pain and depression and ended up having a breakdown.
He said the work accident claim took three years to finalise.
Mr Lo Monaco said on the night of the CBD assault, Weazel had about 30 alcoholic drinks.
He said Weazel believed what he told police about the assault, but his memory could have been impacted by alcohol and prescription medication.
Mr Lo Monaco said since the assault, Weazel and his long-term defacto partner had taken on the full-time care of her sister's five-year-old son after her sister died.
He said this, and what he witnessed of his biological family, had resulted in Weazel consuming far less alcohol.
Judge Jeff Clarke said there did not seem to be a real reason for the surprise attack on the victim.
"To your credit, you didn't go on with your attack on him," he said.
Judge Clarke ordered Weazel to 2.5 years prison, suspended after serving 10 months, and operational for three years. A conviction was recorded.