Brick used in prolonged beating of homeless man
A HOMELESS man using a flood-damaged house as a squat was brutally attacked by another homeless man wielding a brick, a court has heard.
In the unprovoked and prolonged attack, the victim - who wanted to be known only as Michael - suffered 11 broken ribs and multiple head injuries.
Michael sat in the Ipswich District Court this week as his attacker, Andrew James Miller, was sentenced for the violent crime.
Miller, 47, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to 61-year-old Michael on September 2, 2017.
Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said the assault took place at the empty house in Black St, Tivoli.
"He delivered a heavy, callous beating to this man. The attack was gratuitous, cold and designed to inflict injury," Mr Wallis said.
The prosecutor said the victim impact statement showed Michael having demonstrated a level of stoicism.
Part of his statement read: "I didn't deserve to be hurt like that. I didn't deserve to be hurt at all."
Mr Wallis said Miller clearly had an alcohol issue but was reluctant to attempt any rehabilitation, and was a danger to the community given his history of violence.
Miller said simply that he "lost control" after drinking.
The court heard Miller had previously been jailed for slashing another man's throat.
Examining photos of Michael's injuries, Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said they must have been heavy blows, noting the victim had collapsed lungs with internal bleeding.
Mr Wallis said the Crown sought a jail sentence of not less than five years.
Defence barrister David Jones said Miller had been raised in foster care from the age of 13 and previously worked as a commercial fisherman. He had lived in Tasmania and South Australia and, as a homeless man, faced daily battles to protect himself.
He said Miller had been concerned the victim's use of the abandoned house to squat may attract others.
Mr Jones said Miller had spent 387 days on remand.
"The house was abandoned after the floods. There was rubble and he picked up (the brick)," he said.
"It was a cold night and it was a horrible place to live. He simply snapped."
Judge Horneman-Wren said the facts showed it to have been a savage and prolonged beating.
"He was found later coughing up blood. Without treatment, he may well have died," he said.
Judge Horneman-Wren said the victim's statement had been very moderate, and there had been a feeling of betrayal as he'd previously stood up for Miller.
He noted Miller's lengthy criminal history included assaults causing bodily harm, fraud, stealing, and burglary.
Miller was sentenced to five years' jail. With time already spent in custody, he will be eligible to apply for parole release in May 2019.