Court fines attacker for assaulting two smokers

By BRIGID SIMEONI

AN IPSWICH man attacked two total strangers at a service station after becoming enraged at them smoking there, Ipswich Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

Kenneth Herbert Vaughan, 31, admitted assaulting the men early this year, kicking one in the head who had been in a car parked near his vehicle at a BP service station at Blacksoil.

Vaughan was fined $750 over the attack at the service station on February 15.

Prosecutor Sergeant Mark Muller said Vaughan did not know the two men he assaulted after their behaviour caught his attention that day.

Sgt Muller said the defendant approached the first man and told him to put his cigarette out.

To this, the man replied the cigarette was out, but the defendant then had hit him three to five times in the back of the head.

Vaughan then moved on to the other man sitting in the car and made a reference to him having a cigarette, Sgt Muller said.

He said Vaughan kicked that man in the temple, causing bleeding and swelling, before getting in his car and driving off.

Sgt Muller said when police spoke to the defendant, he said he was suffering emotional stress at the time and took offence at the way the other car was driven into the service station and that the men had been smoking there.

In Vaughan's defence, the court was told he was depressed at the time and became enraged, but went into a treatment program after that day.

The court heard the attack was out of character for Vaughan, who worked full-time as a spray painter and he did not have a history of violence.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and common assault.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said it was an atrocious attack, but noted Vaughan voluntarily went on a treatment program before police approached him, indicating he had some insight into the matter.

Ms MacCallum said Vaughan's prior criminal history was old and it was clear he was not the sort of person who was regularly before the court.

She directed that no conviction be recorded.



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