Teen gets 80 hours’ service for six punches

A BUNDABERG teenager has been told to count himself lucky he isn't facing a murder charge after punching a man six times in the head.

But the cowardly punches landed 17-year-old Dylan Lindsay Keith Fernance, with only 80 hours of community service and no conviction.

The teen pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday to one charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Bundaberg Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Vicki Kennedy-Grills told the court Fernance, who had only turned 17 a week before the incident, went to a party with his girlfriend the night of September 10, last year.

"Earlier in the night the defendant accused (the victim) of raping his girlfriend," she said.

Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said Fernance believed the complainant was trying to "get" with his girlfriend and, once Fernance saw the complainant leave the party, he followed him to a nearby McDonald's restaurant.

She said Fernance admitted to hearing a conversation between the victim and his friend, which made him angry "all over again".

"The defendant came up to the complainant and punched him several times in the head," Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said.

The victim was left with a chipped front tooth, bruises and his arm in a sling.

"The defendant and complainant had not previously known each other," Snr Const Grills said.

Fernance's defence lawyer, Mary Buchanan, said her client's behaviour was a "stupid, misguided, testosterone-fuelled offence".

Magistrate Deb Vasta told the youth to remember just how badly alcohol could affect a person's judgement.

"The courts and the public are getting really sick of people laying into each other because they are drunk and angry," she said.

"You're lucky you're not being charged with murder."

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