Drug addict behind bars after bashing business owner in mall

AN ICE addict who savagely beat the owner of an Ipswich chemist has been sent to jail.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday, serial offender Benjamin John Mastmann pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The court was told the 26-year-old had punched a van driver in the mouth because he thought the motorist had tried to run him over.

About 15 minutes later, Mastmann bashed Discount Drug Store Chemist owner Bob Slater in what Magistrate Deborah Vasta described as an "unprovoked attack".

Ms Vasta said Mastmann struck Mr Slater twice in the head, which caused him to fall to the ground.

Mastmann then continued to punch the 59-year-old until customers intervened.

The bashings took place on December 11.

Both victims suffered injuries that required stitches.

While on bail for those offences, Mastmann was charged with three counts of committing indecent acts with intent to assault or offend.

The incidents, which took place on January 2, involved Mastmann masturbating in front of female medical staff.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather said Mastmann had been on a "spree of ice consumption" at the time.

He said his client's "bizarre" behaviour was attributed to taking the drug - also known as methamphetamine.

"He simply didn't fully comprehend some of the things he was doing," Mr Leather said.

He said Mastmann was hoping to start a career in recreation and sports management and was due to start a TAFE course this month.

In addition to the offences, Mastmann faced a string of other charges, which included wilful damage and public nuisance.

Ms Vasta noted Mastmann had a history of criminal activity and that his behaviour was "disgusting".

She said the message of deterrence came to the forefront of her sentencing.

Mastmann was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He will be released on parole on July 3.



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