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Tyre lever shatters victim's face

Clinton Rutledge threw a tyre lever into a man’s face, shattering his cheekbones which needed five titanium plates to repair.
Clinton Rutledge threw a tyre lever into a man’s face, shattering his cheekbones which needed five titanium plates to repair. Lee Constable

CLINTON Rutledge threw a tyre lever through a car window and it smashed at high speed into the face of a young man who suffered horrific injuries.

The victim, in his early 20s, had his cheekbones smashed in four places and had to undergo specialist surgery.

His face had to be peeled back so five titanium plates could be used to weld together his numerous broken and shattered bones.

The plates are still in his head. He will never be able to play contact sports because any displacement of the plates or bones could pierce his brain.

Rutledge, 28, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay last week to causing grievous bodily harm on Anzac Day last year.

He was driving in the City Heart with a 14-year-old juvenile when they saw a fight and stopped the car, Crown prosecutor David Morters said in a statement of facts.

The juvenile removed a metal tyre lever on Rutledge's instructions and they approached the people involved in the fight.

The victim and his friends got into their car to leave and Rutledge and the juvenile followed.

The car started to drive away when the juvenile passed the tyre lever to Rutledge, who threw it through the rear windscreen into the face of the victim.

The impact caused injuries including a large laceration to the cheek, two chipped teeth and four fractures of the cheekbone.

On the day before the assault, Rutledge and the same juvenile (who can not be identified by law) and Cindy McCarthy, 24, drove around Mackay using a slingshot to shoot metal bearings and rocks at businesses and parked cars.

Rutledge and McCarthy pleaded guilty to 11 charges of causing wilful damage.

Their victims included: Two Lifeline stores, Ready Workforce, Chattaways Coffee Shop, Nixon Communications, Salon Rio, Lighting Network Mackay and Mackay Loan Office.

Rutledge was jailed for a total of two-and-a-half years, with a parole release date of February 9 next year.

McCarthy was ordered to perform 160 hours of unpaid community service.

In a separate court, the 14-year-old juvenile pleaded guilty to being involved in the assault and the wilful damage of the property. He was sentenced to two years in juvenile detention.


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