Coward puncher leaves motionless ‘friend’ lying on concrete
Brendon James Murray wept as he was told he had ruined his friendship with a man he coward punched on a night out on the Coast.
The 35-year-old was released on parole on Wednesday for the assault at Mooloolaba Esplanade in the early hours of New Year's Day.
In what magistrate Rod Madsen described as a "callous move", Murray could be seen in CCTV footage walking away from his former housemate Dylan Goodyear who laid motionless on the concrete after he was punched.
Police prosecutor Brendan Newman said Murray was on a suspended sentence when he took to the Sunshine Coast Safe Night Precinct.
He could be seen in the footage arguing with another man before Mr Goodyear stepped in, attempting to prevent a fight.
"The defendant is seen to bounce around in an aggressive fashion before he punches the victim in the face with full force," Sgt Newman said.
"The victim appears to be unconscious from the punch as he falls without any attempt to brace his fall.
"The victim's head striking the ground forcefully, he's then seen to lay motionless on the ground."
Onlookers rushed to Mr Goodyear's aid, visibly shocked.
"What is sickening is the manner in which the defendant simply walks away from the victim," Sgt Newman said.
Murray was arrested by police who witnessed the assault.
Mr Goodyear suffered a significant cut to his head which required staples to be inserted when he spent the night in hospital.
A victim impact statement said he suffered head, neck and torso pain as well as headaches.
He immediately left the home he shared with Murray.
Sgt Newman argued Murray should be sentenced to 15 months in jail, to serve a third, before completing 40 hours of community service.
"The only appropriate sentence for this defendant is custody, and actual custody," Sgt Newman said.
Murray pleaded guilty to assaults occasioning bodily harm in public while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.
He had 11 pages of criminal history but no previous convictions of assault.
Defence lawyer Neesha Maidwell argued her client should be released immediately on parole.
She said the offence Murray was on a suspended sentence for was stealing, with restitution of $7.50, and it would be "unjust" to activate the sentence.
Murray told Mr Madsen that the victim was once his best friend.
"That's gone hasn't it, completely gone?," Mr Madsen asked.
Through tears, Murray replied "yes" and told the court he had read Mr Goodyear's victim impact statement.
A letter of apology from Murray was tendered to the court.
"I feel disgusted in myself and what I've done …" Murray said in his letter to the victim.
"I apologise to you and your family and friends who had to deal with some of the negative impacts in their lives."
Mr Madsen said Murray had a good understanding of the consequences of his actions and said his remorse was evident by his emotional reaction to speaking about his former housemate.
He considered he had no similar offences on his criminal history.
Murray was sentenced to 15 months in jail and his suspended sentence was activated.
He was released immediately on parole.
Murray was also ordered to pay Mr Goodyear $1500 in compensation and complete 40 hours of mandatory community service.