Plea not to imprison man rejected
A MAN who left another man with a permanent brain injury by punching him once in the head has begged an Ipswich judge not to send him to jail.
Samuel Mark Green, 40, was convicted by an Ipswich District Court jury after a two-day trial for grievous bodily harm after he punched a man, causing his head to hit the gutter, in the Ipswich CBD on December 8, 2010.
The victim sustained a fractured skull, bleeding on his brain and a permanent change in personality.
The court heard that if the man hadn't received hospital treatment, he would have died on the night of the attack.
A victim impact statement tendered to the court said the man had sustained very real and lasting effects of the assault including a significant brain injury that made him more aggressive.
Crown prosecutors said that by taking the case to trial, Green hadn't shown any remorse for his actions.
Green's defence had argued the punch was inflicted in self-defence after the victim hit Green first.
The barrister said his client hadn't been armed with a weapon and he genuinely didn't know one punch would have such devastating effects on the victim.
Green asked to address Judge Sarah Bradley before she handed down her sentence.
He said he had straightened himself out after a lifetime of being in prison and offending.
"I (just) gave up the drinks and drugs - the only thing you learn in prison is violence and crime and you end up taking it out with you," Green said.
"I spent all my teens, my 20s and 30s in jail - all I got are my 40s.
"My mother's been to prison for murder, I was orphaned all my life ... I done all my jails and did all my jail from 1995 until 2005 - the whole time and I get out and have a little altercation with a bloke.
"In jail you don't get the help you need, but out here you get help ...
"I haven't done any drinks or drugs or pot since I met (my fiancee) and I am getting a bit older and trying to be a man, a father and grandfather.
"I am very sorry about that (the punch) - I thought because he hit me I could hit him."
Judge Bradley rejected Green's plea for mercy and sentenced him to five years prison.
He will be eligible to apply for parole on December 2, 2014, after serving half of his sentence.