Court rejects appeal

A ROCKHAMPTON man's appeal against his guilty plea for swinging a beer bottle into a neighbour's head was "doomed to fail".

Justice James Henry said the Court of Appeal would refuse to hear his application because not only was it well outside the statutory period for appeal, but it was unlikely to be successful.

Mark Anthony Mizzi was sentenced to 15 months jail in Rockhampton District Court last October but he was released immediately on parole because he was the sole parent to his children, one of whom is autistic.

Justice Henry described, in a decision published online on Friday, how Mizzi was sitting on the front fence of a family home - intoxicated, drinking from a beer bottle, playing with his children and singing loudly - about 7pm.

He said Mizzi was asked to get off the fence but responded with a "deeply offensive comment" to a woman and pushed a man in the chest.

The man pushed Mizzi back so he turned his beer bottle into a weapon and caused four stitches to the man's head.

When sentenced, Mizzi told the court "I'm sorry that this took place. It's embarrassing for myself and for my two children".

Mizzi, now 41, argued in the Court of Appeal he only learned he could appeal through Legal Aid but he did not appeal his sentence, only the plea he entered.

He claimed he struck the man in self-defence, that police did not interview his children and his counsel had a conflict of interest.

"Having regard to the long delay involved and the absence of evidence explaining it, the mere assertion of legal ignorance made in the notice of application for extension of time falls substantially short of showing good reason for the delay," Justice Henry said.

"As to the underlying merits, there is no evidentiary material suggesting the appeal is a viable one.

"Even the two documents outlining the applicant's grievances failed to articulate any matter suggesting there may have been a miscarriage of justice."

Topics:  appeal court

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