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Thug only confessed when cops told him victim was a girl

A GOODNA man who randomly punched a 15-year-old in the face admitted to the crime when he later learned the victim was a girl.

Stephen Dennis Bush, 18, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm over the attack on December 4, 2013.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Chris O'Neill said the then 17-year-old punched the girl with such force that he knocked her unconscious near the Morayfield Shopping Centre.

He said the girl was walking towards the centre with her friend when she was confronted by Bush and his mates.

When Bush locked eyes with the girl, he shouted "what are you looking at?" and immediately punched her in the face.

After delivering the blow, Bush continued to walk away, leaving the girl lying unconscious and bloody on the floor.

The young victim was transported to hospital and sustained injuries including cuts to her mouth and lip and a fractured eye socket.

She also suffered a nasal injury, which resulted in continuous bleeding from her nose for five days.

Sen Const O'Neill said the victim in no way knew Bush and that the attack was completely unprovoked.

He said investigations led police to an address in Goodna where Bush was found on January 14.

Bush told police that at the time of the incident he had been drinking home-made vodka and was angry following an argument with his girlfriend.

He said he punched the 15-year-old because "she was looking at him the wrong way" and thought she was laughing at him.

Bush said he had only made admissions to police because he found out the victim was a girl and felt bad.

He added that if it had turned out to be a male victim he wouldn't have admitted to anything.

Representing himself in court, Bush said he had committed a "dumb act" and took full responsibility for the crime.

"I'd like to meet the girl and say sorry and give her a hug," he said.

But Magistrate Deborah Vasta believed that wouldn't be a good idea.

"She'd be terrified of you," she said.

Instead she sentenced Bush to four months' jail, released on parole after a month.

She said Bush had prior offences of wilful damage and public nuisance and this most recent crime was an act of gratuitous violence.

Startled by the ruling, Bush pleaded with Ms Vasta to consider a suspended sentence.

But Ms Vasta said she didn't believe any penalty other than a jail term would adequately reflect the seriousness of the offence.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm ipswich magistrates court



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