A man fronted court for assaulting a woman who had attacked him with weapons.
A man fronted court for assaulting a woman who had attacked him with weapons.

Man punched woman after she attacked him with a weapon

A FORMER Whitsunday man who gave a childhood girlfriend "a heck of a black eye" has avoided a jail terms because she had attacked him multiple times with weapons.

Although it was agreed David Bruce Duffy caused a serious injury in fending off the 56 year old woman, Judge Deborah Richards labelled it an unusual case with serious provocation.

The incident happened in 2016.

Jennifer Bain had been living with Duffy in Airlie Beach when on December 8 when they began arguing and she hit him a number of times to the head with a range of implements.

Crown Prosecutor Ben Jackson said Duffy "effectively told her" if she did not stop he would hit her.

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"She then approached him from the side at speed, he believed that she was coming to assault him … and he then punched her," Mr Jackson said.

The court heard the woman recalled hearing a "crack" but Mr Jackson said this was not in relation to any broken or fractured eye socket, it was just the sound of the blow.

As a result she spent time in hospital and had issues with the movement of her eye and her vision at the time.

Mr Jackson said a non-custodial jail term would reflect the offending was "a serious example of assault occasioning bodily harm".

The 59 year old pleaded guilty to the charge.

Judge Richards agreed it was "a heck of a black eye".

"But she did hit him three times in the head with a weapon before that happened," Judge Richards said.

"So there is significant provocation, and a warning and he didn't advance on her, she advanced on him.

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"Even though the injury itself is quite serious, it's a fairly unusual case."

The court heard the pair had been "boyfriend and girlfriend" when they were 12 years old and ran into each by chance when Ms Bain moved to the Airlie Beach region and he invited her to stay with him.

Defence barrister Scott McLennan said it was his instruction Ms Bain had unrequited feelings for Duffy, who had been involved with another woman which created "some issues".

Mr McLennan said Ms Bain was a "self confessed alcoholic", had been drinking and became violent and argued his client's guilty plea had "significant value" in circumstances where self defence "is clearly open".

The court heard at the time of the offence Duffy, who now lived in the Yeppoon area, has undiagnosed stomach cancer and was underweight - he has since undergone successful treatment.


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Mr McLennan said his client had raised more than $48,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation following his father's death from the disease and was a contributing member of society, pushing for a fine with no conviction recorded.

Judge Richards noted the significant delay and found that despite the injuring being quite serious the appropriate penalty was $1500 compensation and a 12 month good behaviour bond.

A conviction is not recorded.

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