A man was knocked unconscious in Airlie Beach. Photo: File
A man was knocked unconscious in Airlie Beach. Photo: File

Whitsunday man gets jail for knocking bloke out with punch

UPDATE: A Mount Julian man who knocked a bloke unconscious with a single punch in Airlie Beach has been told he is lucky the man woke up.

Robert Terence Marshall spent Monday night in police custody after facing Proserpine Magistrates Court to plead guilty to public nuisance.

During Monday’s proceedings, the charge was downgraded from assault occasioning bodily harm to public nuisance.

Marshall, 24, appeared via videolink at Bowen Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning to find out his sentence.

Magistrate James Morton told Marshall his behaviour was “over the top” and the court did not condone such violence.

Marshall punched a man near the taxi rank in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct in October after the bloke tried to headbutt Marshall’s friend.

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The injured man fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement, and then Marshall slapped the unconscious man on the face.

The single strike left the man with a concussion and eight stitches to his head.

During Monday’s proceedings, lawyer Elizabeth Smith, for Marshall, said the injured man and his friend had been berating Marshall’s female friends and tried to strike Marshall.

On Tuesday, Mr Morton told Marshall he had been sentenced for an assault occasioning bodily harm charge before but noted the 24-year-old man was still young and rehabilitation was not off the table.

“The courts have spoken very largely about alcohol-fuelled violence and one punch syndrome,” Mr Morton said.

“Think yourself very, very lucky that this man woke up from this unconscious state.”

Mr Morton sentenced Marshall to two months’ jail and the term was suspended after he spent one day in custody, which Marshall had already completed between the two court appearances.

The suspended sentence will hang over his head for a year.

Marshall was also banned from the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct for a year and ordered to pay $1500 compensation to the victim.

The conviction was recorded.

EARLIER: A Mount Julian father-to-be who knocked a bloke unconscious with one punch has been remanded in custody while the magistrate decides his sentence.

Robert Terence Marshall faced Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday after hitting another man in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct.

Police prosecutor Chelsea Pearson told the court multiple people flagged down police near the taxi rank opposite Magnums in October last year.

The court heard police found a man unconscious on the ground with several people performing first aid.

Ms Pearson said CCTV footage showed the injured man had attempted to headbutt Marshall’s friend, so Marshall punched the man in the side of the face.

The injured man fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement, and then Marshall slapped the unconscious man on the face.

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The single strike left the man with a concussion and eight stitches to his head.

Ms Pearson said the prosecution was seeking $1500 compensation for the injured man for the pain and suffering caused by Marshall.

Marshall was originally charged with assault occasioning bodily harm but the prosecution downgraded the charge to public nuisance, which Marshall pleaded guilty to on Monday.

Lawyer Elizabeth Smith, for Marshall, said the 24-year-old man was on a “rare night out” and had been drinking, but had a good memory of the incident.

The court heard the injured man and his friend had been berating Marshall’s female friends in the lead-up to the punch.

Marshall and his friend were with the women at the time and after telling the bloke and his friend to leave them alone, they refused.

The court heard the assaulted man then tried to headbutt Marshall’s friend and took a swing at Marshall.

Ms Smith said that was when Marshall threw the punch.

A man was knocked unconscious in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct. Photo: File
A man was knocked unconscious in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct. Photo: File

The court heard Marshall was a fabricator by trade and was studying to be a boilermaker.

Ms Smith said Marshall was also expecting his first child with his partner.

Magistrate James Morton noted Marshall had been before the court previously for assault occasioning bodily harm, when he was sentenced to jail and received a parole release date.

But Ms Smith said that offence was related to a “coward punch” but the circumstances of the most recent offence were different.

“It is not the case of a sucker punch, an unprovoked attack,” Ms Smith said.

“It was one punch that was thrown as a consequence of a strike being thrown towards him.

“It all happens in the space of seconds.”

Mr Morton told Marshall he was going to receive a jail sentence.

“I am forced to by your conduct in the facts plus your criminal history,” Mr Morton said.

Marshall was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear by videolink at Bowen Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning to learn his sentence.


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