Long-awaited assault in one swift, unexpected move
A man who told police he had wanted to punch his victim in the face ‘for a long time’ .
Wayne Michael Walsh, 44, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday to six charges including serious assault of a police officer by biting or spitting and serious assault of a person over 60.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Merrilyn Hoskins said the worst of Walsh’s offending occurred on December 5 2019.
She said Walsh was the subject of an ‘Authority to Return’ issued under the Mental Health Act.
Sergeant Hoskins said about 12.45pm that day, Walsh and his victim were at the Gladstone community health centre where Walsh was seen regularly.
She said when the victim arrived in the company of police, they approached Walsh and began speaking with him, explaining the ATR and that he would have to go with police to the hospital.
Sergeant Hoskins said Walsh punched the victim with his right hand to the face without warning.
He was immediately restrained by police and escorted to the Gladstone Base Hospital under the ATR.
Sergeant Hoskins said when police spoke to Walsh about the incident, Walsh stated he had been wanting to punch the victim for a long time and that nothing would happen to him because of his mental health issues.
The victim had sustained a split lip as a result of the strike, which required further medical treatment at the hospital.
Acting Magistrate Paul Byrne sentenced Walsh to 19 months prison with an immediate parole release date and suspended him from driving for four months. Convictions were recorded.
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