Coward puncher in Dalby court for assaulting man from behind
A YOUNG Tara man was given a grim ultimatum after he was sentenced for an almost identical assault that allegedly killed a man after the State of Origin.
Calum Wood Gunnis’ coward punch attack was heard in Dalby Magistrates Court on November 19, where he was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.
The court heard the unprovoked attack took place at the TomCat bar in Fortitude Valley on November 16, 2018.
Police prosecutor sergeant Derek Brady said the victim had attended the bar just about 1.30am, and had been introduced to a group of people, including Gunnis.
He said about 3am the victim was leaving with two women down a staircase when he was approached by Gunnis from behind and punched in the back of the head.
The victim turned around to see who had struck him, and was whacked in the side of the face, where he felt “instant pain”.
“The defendant was pushed away by the other male and has left the bar,” sergeant Brady said.
“On that same morning the victim has attended Fortitude Valley station to make a formal complaint.
“Police observed him to have a lump behind the left ear, and a small laceration and dried blood on the inside of his cheek.”
Sergeant Brady said police were able to identify Gunnis from CCTV footage from the evening.
The court heard Gunnis wasn’t interviewed by police until June 10 this year, where he made partial admissions to the assault, claiming he had woken up with a sore right hand.
Sergeant Brady told the court the assault was an act of “gratuitous violence”, and it was lucky the victim didn’t suffer serious injuries from his attack.
Solicitor Axel Beard tendered a letter of remorse written by the 21-year-old bartender to the court, which offered an apology to the magistrate and his victim.
Mr Beard said Gunnis had made as many admissions as he could due to the incident taking place almost two years ago.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop warned the defendant about an almost identical assault which occurred after the State of Origin Game III game on Wednesday, where a 29-year-old man allegedly struck a 49-year-old man in the head in Caboolture.
The man fell backwards and cracked his head on the concrete, dying only minutes after the final siren had blown.
Magistrate Mossop said the 29-year-old was now in custody for only one strike, let alone the two Gunnis gave his victim.
“That’s all it takes to take somebody’s life, and when somebody’s life is taken, it’s tragic,” she said.
“That’s their life ended, it’s their family’s life totally affected and traumatised, as well as their friends.
“For you, or someone in your position, if you punched and killed somebody, it takes away your life by taking your freedom and it affects your family.”
Gunnis pleaded guilty and was fined $1500, and ordered to pay $800 compensation to his victim.
A conviction wasn’t recorded.