Police arrested the man in October last year. Photo: File.
Police arrested the man in October last year. Photo: File.

Dad who bashed stranger narrowly avoids jail time

A father of three who bashed a stranger who he had offered a lift to the pub narrowly avoided jail after having his charge changed to assault occasioning bodily harm.

David John Poole pleaded guilty to the new charge at Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday and was sentenced on Friday to a 12 month intensive corrections order.

The Chronicle previously reported he was originally charged with robbery with actual violence in company.

The court heard the victim suffered significant facial injuries including a fractured eye socket, broken nose, fractured cheekbone and a cut to the chin.

The prosecution told the court the victim was still in rehab for his injuries.

The court heard the incident happened on October 19 last year after Poole and an associate pulled over on the Charlton Esplanade to offer the victim, who they did not know, a ride to the pub, when they became involved in a heated argument over illicit substances.

Poole allegedly attacked the victim outside the Sailing Club – which defence lawyer Hamish Isles said resulted from him seeing the victim sitting next to his child’s booster seat “which essentially resulted in him losing his temper”.

The Chronicle previously reported the duo also allegedly stole his wallet and fled the scene.

Mr Isles said when Poole “came to his senses” he and his associate returned to the scene because he “felt sick after seeing the victim fall to the ground”.

Police arrested Poole a short time later.

The court heard Poole had not co-operated with police to identify the second attacker.

Mr Isles told Magistrate Stephen Guttridge his client worked in aged care before he started work full time as a concrete finisher.

He said his client’s colleagues spoke of him in high regard.

“He has taken some positive steps on his own back to address what he has identified as a disruptive relationship with alcohol,” Mr Isles explained.

Mr Isles told the court the incident was a “one off” and that Poole had been having some difficulties at home with relationships, essentially caused by alcohol, but had since sought support from rehabilitation centres and has experienced a significant upturn in his outlook on life.

“He (Poole) does have some significant responsibilities in the community to his family and to his employer,” Mr Isles argued.

At his first court appearance on October 20 last year Poole was granted bail despite the prosecution’s opposition.

Mr Isles said Poole indicated he would and had spoken about performing community service hours but after hearing the “number of factors” raised in court on Thursday, but magistrate Guttridge said “clearly a jail term is the only option”.

Yesterday Poole was sentenced to a 12 month intensive corrections order with a conviction recorded.