Man in handcuffs
Man in handcuffs

‘Seriously disturbing’: Ex-navy seaman’s street assault

An ex-navy seaman who punched a man in the face during a vicious unprovoked bag-snatch attempt had a "seriously disturbing" history of violence, a court has been told.

The Brisbane District Court was told that Matthew David Scott Payne, 35, punched the 33-year-old man while trying to grab the man's bag as he walked home to his Brisbane City apartment on April 7 this year.

Prosecutor Alexandra Baker said Payne threw a second punch which did not connect, then fled without the bag and was arrested a short time later.


The Australian Defence Medal recipient appeared in court this morning where he pleaded guilty to robbery with personal violence.

The court was told at the time of the assault, Payne was on a suspended sentence for a "protracted episode of choking" and was also on parole for another burglary.

In 2015, Payne had been jailed after pleading guilty to assaulting two men after partying on a boat moored near Underwater World at Mooloolaba in February 2015.

Barrister Martin Longhurst said Payne continued to battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his time in the navy but conceded that there was no causal link between his client's offending and his mental health issues.

Judge Julie Dick SC said she was "seriously disturbed" by Payne's criminal history and his unprovoked attack on an innocent man.

"You not only robbed him, but almost gratuitously you punched him, and I did not like that," Judge Dick said.

"It's very uncivilised behaviour."

Payne was sentenced to three years' jail to be served on top of his suspended sentence.

After already serving almost two years in custody, Payne was given immediate parole eligibility.

Originally published as 'Seriously disturbing': Ex-navy seaman's street assault

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