The Park Holme Mosque where the assault occurred. Photo Tait Schmaal.
The Park Holme Mosque where the assault occurred. Photo Tait Schmaal.

Man who punched worshipper was ‘drunk, not racist’

A MAN has admitted punching an Islamic worshipper in the face in an Adelaide mosque - but insists he was merely drunk, not motivated by racism.

David Phillip Bryan Anderson claims he had only wanted to discuss relations between the US, Israel and Islamic people when the incident, captured on CCTV, occurred.

The 36-year-old, of Reynella, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm.

He admitted striking a parishioner of the Islamic Mosque with a single, closed-first blow at Parkholme on December 22 last year.

David Phillip Bryan Anderson. Photo: Sean Fewster/The Advertiser
David Phillip Bryan Anderson. Photo: Sean Fewster/The Advertiser

The case was adjourned until April in order for SA Police to obtain a victim impact statement from the man who Anderson punched.

The court heard he suffered a deviated septum as a result of the attack.

Anderson faces a maximum 10-year prison term but is entitled to a sentencing discount of up to 40 per cent for his guilty plea.

Outside court, defence barrister Craig Caldicott said his client was "very embarrassed and so, so sorry".

"If we had been able to proceed with the matter today there was a written apology which he was wanting to have given to the victim of this matter," he said

He said his client was "absolutely" not motivated by racism.

"He had been drinking for an incredibly long period of time on this day, he had started at midday and this incident occurred at 9.30pm at night.

 

"He was seeking to have a discussion about the United States and Israel, and how they did not do enough to help Islamic people.

"The victim did not wish to engage with him because he was obviously aware he had been drinking excessively and for some reason it got into my client's head to hit him.

"He doesn't really remember it ... it was a little bit of madness."

Mr Caldicott conceded Anderson was facing jail but said he hoped the court would consider a suspended sentence.

"He's a family man with a young family and he is so, so sorry," he said.

"It's so out of character, he has no criminal history or anything like this."

Anderson declined to comment as he left court, except to say "I am not racist".



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