Man's guilty plea eleven years in the making
IF YOU can be sure of one thing in life, it is that the past almost always catches up with you.
For Bundaberg man Martin Symington, it only took 11 years.
On Monday, Symington pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.
The offence, which was committed on April 30, 2008, began at the Wallaville Hotel.
Symington had been drinking at the bar, and the victim had also been drinking there.
The court heard the pair had seen each other "around town" but were not associated.
Symington approached the victim and told him to stop his wife talking about "my daughter".
"If she keeps it up, I'll bite your nose off," Symington told the man.
The man told Symington he had no idea what he was talking about.
"(It was) a strange but effective threat," Crown Prosecutor Christopher Cook told the court.
Symington then slapped the unsuspecting man to the left chin, and he was forced backward.
The man was knocked to the ground where the pair scuffled on the floor.
Symington hit the man with "one large punch" and the man hit his head on the door.
The man suffered injuries and bruising to his jaw, ribs and head.
Mr Cook said the case had been listed to go to trial in 2009 but Symington had been at large in Queensland for a long time after that.
Mr Cook said the plea of guilty was "some 11 years in the making".
Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said Symington had undergone "significant rehabilitation" to himself since the offence.
"He had heard from his wife that the complainant's wife had been making obscene gestures to them and his nine-year-old-daughter," Mr Cassidy said.
"His (Symington) only explanation is the matter got out of hand and escalated."
Judge Jennifer Rosengren said Symington had been at large for quite some time.
"You said you never meant to have the altercation," Judge Rosengren said.
"There has been an 11-year period between the offending and the sentencing and today there is some indication you have made a good go at your life." Judge Rosengren sentenced Symington to six months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months.