Toowoomba Courthouse
Toowoomba Courthouse Bev Lacey

Ice addict broke pub patron's arm with shortened pool cue

A 20-YEAR-OLD man who attacked a Toowoomba hotel patron with a pool cue, leaving the victim with a badly broken arm, has been jailed.

Michael Wade Hearn had been out of jail just two months and on parole when he caused a disturbance at the Royal Hotel in Ruthven St just after 4pm on December 3.

When the 64-year-old bar manager approached and asked him to leave, the 20-year-old reached into his backpack and pulled out a shortened pool cue which he swung at the manager who raised a chair to deflect the blows.

Dropping the chair, the manager retreated with Hearn in pursuit, Crown prosecutor Aleksandra Nikolic told Toowoomba District Court.

Hearn had then bumped into a 63-year-old pub patron who asked the angry young man what he was doing.

The 20-year-old then turned the pool cue onto that victim who raised his arms in self defence only to receive multiple blows, including two to his left forearm, Ms Nikolic said.

Hearn had then run away from the pub with a number of patrons in pursuit but he got away.

However, he had left his backpack inside the hotel and police were able to identify him by the pack's contents, Ms Nikolic said.

Though an arrest warrant had been issued for him, Hearn was not found until police caught him speeding in a 60kmh zone in Toowoomba on February 3.

Ignoring police lights and siren, he had sped away but his car was brought to an abrupt halt after running over "stingers" police had placed across the road, the court heard.

When arrested, he tested positive for methamphetamine and checks found his licence was disqualified.

He pleaded guilty to serious assault and serious assault while armed as well as to the traffic offences.

Ms Nikolic said the victim had undergone surgery to have an eight-hole plate and screws inserted into his left forearm.

In his victim impact statement read to the court, the self employed man said he hadn't been able to work since the incident but after exhausting $16,000 in personal savings he had forced himself to work against doctor's orders.

Defence barrister Damien Gates, for Hearn, said his client had endured a difficult upbringing and had been exposed to violence in the home at a young age.

His client had started using alcohol and cannabis from about 10 years of age and had turned to meth after the death of his mother in 2014.

Judge Greg Koppenol noted this was the 12th time Hearn had appeared before a criminal court.

Because Hearn was on parole at the time of the offending, he would have to serve out his previous sentence before this sentence kicked in, which would be from August 8, the court heard.

However, Judge Koppenol said he would take into account the time the prisoner had served in custody which would be 10 months of the 12 month previous term and reduce this sentence.

Telling Hearn that ordinarily he would impose a penalty of two to two and half years, Judge Koppenol acknowledged Hearn's youth, early pleas of guilty and time spent in custody and sentenced him to 18 months in jail.

Hearn will be eligible to apply for release on parole as of September 3.

He was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for two years.
 



Bellingen's luxury home winner has been found

premium_icon Bellingen's luxury home winner has been found

The $1.3 million home was left unclaimed for a week.

The end of an era for Coffs/Clarence police

premium_icon The end of an era for Coffs/Clarence police

“This job is about what we do as a team, and how we can make our community feel...

Pauline Hanson is a danger to single mums and their children

premium_icon Pauline Hanson is a danger to single mums and their children

Pauline Hanson leading the family court inquiry is bad for mums.