Jail sentence for "unprovoked" attack on man who was texting

A 24-YEAR-OLD has been sent to jail for an "unprovoked and vicious" attack on a man who was texting on his phone.

Thorton Lance Watterson pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm as well as a breach of bail charge.

Magistrate Donna McCallum said Watterson had assaulted the man "for no apparent reason".

"The victim had been texting on his phone when you kicked him in the face, which connected to his right eye," she told Watterson.

"This then followed by a flurry of punches as the man raised his arms to protect himself.

"You then continued to assault the man until a member of your group pulled you off him."

Ms McCallum said Watterson was lucky to have escaped more serious charges.

"It's quite a terrible thing you have done," she said.

The incident occurred in East Ipswich on August 28, 2012.

Defence lawyer Trevor Hoskin said Watterson had skipped bail and fled to New South Wales because he feared the outcome of the case.

Mr Hoskin said his client had previous convictions of assault and was worried about returning to prison.

"He went to New South Wales to stay with family," Mr Hoskin said.

"He returned to Queensland this year and was arrested while at his mother's home and has been in custody for the past 60 days."

Mr Hoskins said Watterson had grown up with a violent father, who left home when he was 10 years old.

He also said Watterson had problems with alcohol and had a tendency to get into trouble when he drank.

Mr Hoskins said his client had not committed any more offences since the incident in 2012 and had aspirations to go to TAFE to complete a certificate in auto mechanics.

Ms McCallum said although Watterson may have been drinking and upset about something during the attack it was no excuse for his actions.

Watterson was sentenced to 10 months jail for both charges.

He will be released on parole next month.



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