Thug invites hospitalised victim to a barbecue

A MAN who king hit another man, breaking his jaw in two places, visited the victim in hospital the next day and invited him to a barbecue.

Joseph Mark Laurenson, 29, punched the victim once to the left of his face after having a verbal altercation with him about some jokes he was making at a party.

Ipswich District Court heard Laurenson and the victim lived in the same street and Laurenson went to a private party on the night of the attack.

The men started a "verbal exchange" before one suggested taking the fight outside. As the victim walked under a half-open garage door Laurenson punched him in the face. The victim was taken to hospital and had four plates and 14 screws inserted in his head.

The following day Laurenson went to the hospital and tried to apologise to the victim who rejected the offering. Laurenson also invited the victim to a barbecue the following week so he could apologise again, but the victim didn't accept the invitation.

In a victim impact statement to the court, the victim said he spent three months after the attack eating through a straw, had trouble sleeping and couldn't play with his two sons.

"Life will never be the same," the 39-year-old victim said.

Defence lawyer Bill Potts said his client had since found salvation and redemption through the Samoan 7th Day Adventist Church, and was undertaking charity and community work.

In sentencing him, Judge Greg Koppenol said this was a classic case for young men embarking on the toxic mix of alcohol and violence. "There is a good chance you'll be deported after this," he said.

Laurenson's defence said the time he would be sentenced to in jail would have a major impact.

But Judge Koppenol said that was a "sad reality" for people who chose to break the law.

The court heard Laurenson was on a suspended prison term for sexually assaulting a woman in 2009.

The judge activated the suspended term to be served concurrently. Laurenson was sentenced to a further two years jail and can be released on parole on April 17, 2013.



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