News

Jail for thug who bashed students

IPSWICH Grammar students were forced to seek refuge in their teacher's car as two men entered the school grounds and began bashing students and staff.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, one of the attackers Nelson Fujita Palmer, 20, pleaded guilty to 14 charges including assault occasioning bodily harm and six counts of common assault.

The incident took place on June 24, about 4.40pm in the afternoon, while students were waiting for a bus after sport training.

Palmer and his 18-year-old friend entered the school grounds to confront some students who they thought were laughing at them as they passed by.

The situation quickly escalated when the two men started attacking the students and damaging property located within the school.

Some of the pupils were so frightened they tried to escape the attack by climbing into their teacher's car.

When teachers at the school intervened, Palmer and his co-attacker directed their violence towards them.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Kevin Carmont said a handful of students aged 14 to 16 years had been attacked.

During the rampage, one student was grabbed by the throat, others were tackled and punched in the head.

Several teachers managed to eventually restrain the two men. In doing so, one of the teachers was bitten on the finger while another was spat in the face.

Police were called to the school soon after. Some of the students suffered minor injuries as a result of the attack.

Defence lawyer Yassar Khan said Palmer had been extremely drunk at the time of the offence and had little recollection of the incident.

Palmer had apparently been drinking since 8am on the day of the attack.

Mr Khan said his client, a full time carer for his mother, was genuinely remorseful for his behaviour and had written a letter of apology to the school.

Magistrate Deborah Vasta said any assault upon a child was reprehensible and that Palmer's attack was "vicious and unprovoked".

She said the assault charges were aggravated because they had occurred within a school.

"Schools must know they have the support of the courts in helping them protect their students," she said.

"Penalties need to be imposed to deter people from unlawfully entering school grounds for any purpose, let alone to attack pupils."

Mr Palmer was also charged with stealing a computer on July 6, 2013 and fare evasion on October 6, 2014.

He was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison for all charges, with parole after three months.

Topics:  crime, editors picks, handsoff, ipswich court



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