News

Road rage: Motorist punched repeatedly after close call

A ROAD-RAGE attacker punched a man repeatedly in the head after they were apparently involved in a near-accident.

Oriha Ivory Gasu pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

Police prosecutor senior constable Trent Voigt said Gasu, 22, had been upset with the other driver for cutting him off in traffic.

The two men pulled their cars to the side of the road in Springwood on March 17 after the minor traffic incident took place.

Sen Const Voigt said the two men quarrelled about the near miss but that Gasu appeared to have shown no signs of aggression.

As the exchange came to an end, Gasu - without warning - punched the man in the back of the head as he turned to walk away.

The force of the punch knocked the victim's glasses off his head and caused him to roll his ankle as he tried to balance himself.

The blow was followed by a flurry of punches from Gasu, which connected with the man's jaw and head.

The final hit - to the back of the head - caused the victim to fall to the ground and momentarily lose consciousness.

The man was later treated by ambulance officers and suffered "immense pain" to his jaw, head and left side of his body.

Defence lawyer Time Imo said the incident was a classic case of road rage but that Gasu's behaviour was "out of character".

Gasu, who lives in Ipswich, told police that he thought the victim wanted to fight, but later acknowledged he may have misread his body language.

Mr Imo said his client had a short criminal history with no prior offences for assault and was remorseful.

Magistrate Barry Cosgrove said it was fortunate Gasu's attack did not severely injure or kill the victim.

"I'm sure you've heard of the One Punch Can Kill campaign," he said.

"If you punch someone in the head, you may well cause their death - you punched this man about six or seven times.

"People often make mistakes while driving on the roads and if they do, we need to show a bit of tolerance." Gasu was fined $1000 and placed on probation for a year.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm ipswich magistrates court road rage



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