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Miner's claims of 'alcoholic blackout' don't help his appeal

A CONFRONTATION with a journalist and a few beers between miners turned into a glassing attack in Emerald.

But the attacker at the centre of the drama claimed he did not entirely remember his role in the alcohol-fuelled crime because he suffered a blackout.

David John Cox appealed his 12-month jail term for assault occasioning bodily harm in the Court of Appeal this month on six grounds, including a lack of DNA evidence and absence of a weapon.

In a judgment handed down on Friday, Justice John Muir stated Cox, who worked at the Blackwater Mine, was drinking with other colleagues at the Meteor Hotel in November 2010.

Justice Muir said Cox mentioned an incident that occurred the week before when he exchanged words with a South African reporter from the Emerald Herald and the victim was forced to apologise for Cox's behaviour.

"This part of the discussion was conducted without apparent animosity," Justice Muir stated.

The victim claimed he declared it was time to go to bed, leant down to pick up his cigarettes and felt a blow to the back of his head.

He was also punched on the jaw and had his face slapped.

The victim gave evidence Cox pinned him on the ground before asking: "What's it like knowing that today is going to be your last day to live?"

As Cox reached for his Leatherman containing a knife, the victim screamed to the hotel manager to call the police and lock the door.

Shards of glass were later pulled out of the victim's skin.

Justice Muir stated in his judgment Cox got in his car and drove off.

In his bid to appeal his sentence, Cox argued there was no fingerprint or DNA evidence to link him to the attack.

But a police officer gave evidence that fingerprinting most of the bottles would have been "virtually useless" as the empty bottles had been thrown into a carton and had residue sprayed over them.

Cox also argued he was convicted on fleeing the scene.

Asked about the victim's claims he saw him drive off after the glassing, Cox told police: "No. I had a couple of days to um, to basically ah, to chill out and go, well I've had another alcoholic blackout".

Cox later told police he did not know if he drove away or not but said he woke up on a riverbank in a swag.

Justice Muir found the victim's clear assertion of what he saw showed there was no obvious reason why the jury should not have accepted the complainant's evidence.

Cox also argued there was no "alleged weapon" positively found but Justice Muir found there was "ample evidence" from which the jury could conclude the victim was struck with a bottle.

Cox's appeal was dismissed.

Topics:  alcohol, assault, court of appeal, crime, emerald, jail




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