'Cowardly' headbutt could cost Gladstone tradie $30,000

A BRUTAL headbutt on the dance floor may cost Gladstone tradie Leonard Wedrat $30,000 to cover his victim's ongoing medical costs.

Wedrat, 31, was sentenced to 12 months jail after he pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to assault causing bodily harm to the man, aged in his 40s, at a Yeppoon hotel on September 20 last year.

Leonard Wedrat leaves Gladstone Court after being sentenced for a brutal assault at a Yeppoon nightclub.
Leonard Wedrat leaves Gladstone Court after being sentenced for a brutal assault at a Yeppoon nightclub. Paul Braven

Wedrat said he had no recollection of the assault at The Strand Hotel at 12.45am, only of waking up bruised in a gutter.

The unprovoked assault left the man with teeth, mouth and facial injuries, described by magistrate Jeffrey Clarke as "a cowardly and disgraceful" blow.

However, Mr Clark immediately released Wedrat to supervised parole, saying that to imprison the father of two would leave his family without its livelihood. It would also mean Wedrat was unable to pay the victim compensation for future dental work.

Prosecutor Barry Stevens provided $3162 in medical receipts the victim had already paid and Wedrat agreed to pay this money within seven days.

But a $30,000 claim to cover future dental costs was instead left up to the victim to make as a civil claim.

Sgt Stevens said Wedrat was dancing when he bumped a man seated at a table. For no apparent reason Wedrat then poured out the man's drink causing him to stand up.

Unprovoked, Wedrat headbutted the man, knocking him unconscious to the floor.

"His teeth were pushed back into his mouth," Sgt Stevens said.

Lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said Wedrat, a Curtis Island worker at the time, was extremely anxious because he had employment issues and had just found out his partner was pregnant.

"This stress contributed to his alcohol consumption. He clearly drank to excess (that night). CCTV footage clearly shows him swaying, unsteady on his feet," she said.

Mr Clarke said Wedrat caused significant injury and courts viewed alcohol-fuelled, gratuitous violence as requiring serious punishment and not to be tolerated.

Mr Clarke said references state Wedrat was being "deeply troubled" by his behaviour. A conviction was recorded.



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