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Man in the slammer after an attack with a hammer

Brett Wortman

A FLINDERS View business owner hit his former friend in the face with a hammer, then taunted the victim as he was being rushed to hospital.

John Matthew Mansfield paid a late-night visit to the Bundamba home of 43-year-old Bruce Piper, but it wasn't a social call.

Mansfield had been angered by some comments Mr Piper had apparently made about him and visited him to confront him about it.

A heated verbal exchange between the two escalated when Mansfield grabbed a hammer from his vehicle, walked up to Mr Piper, hit him in the face with it, then left.

At Ipswich District Court yesterday, Mansfield pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said Mr Piper suffered a fractured jaw from the blow with the hammer.

Mr Piper's wife phoned for an ambulance and during the victim's trip to the hospital, Mansfield phoned him to say "well, you've shut your mouth up now".

The offence took place about 9.30pm on May 23, last year.

Ms Kelso said Mr Piper had to be operated on as a result of the attack. The victim had a steel plate and screws fitted to his left lower jaw.

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said Mansfield, 31, and Mr Piper had been mates, but that the friendship had soured in the lead up to the incident.

Mr Kissick said his client had not visited Mr Piper for the purpose of assaulting him but rather the attack happened in the heat of the moment.

"My client is not an explosive, aggressive man, in fact he's very much the opposite - he's a very unassertive man," Mr Kissick said.

"Mr Piper had been chipping away at my client who had been dealing with pressures at work and in life generally.

"On the night of the offence, there had been some heated words exchanged...and my client had what can only be described as a brain snap."

Mr Kissick said Mansfield had no criminal history of violence and that he had been intoxicated when he attacked Mr Piper.

He said his client was self-employed and had taken steps to undergo anger management treatment.

Judge Sarah Bradley told Mansfield that he had reacted "excessively" after he lost his temper on the night of the incident.

"When you use a weapon like a hammer on someone's face, in a moment of anger, you are likely to do significant damage," she said. "A message needs to be sent to people in the community that you simply cannot try and resolve disputes with the use of a weapon."

Mansfield was sentenced to three years in jail. He will be released on parole after serving one year behind bars.

Topics:  court, crime, ipswich, ipswich district court




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