Man apologises to assault victim

A HANDSHAKE and an apology were not enough to keep a man from appearing in Hervey Bay District Court for assault occasioning bodily harm.

Corey Lee Barton, 20, pleaded guilty to the charge, in which he and a friend bashed another man with a piece of wood in Maryborough in February, 2010.

The court heard Barton and his ex-girlfriend's stepfather attacked a man near the Sporties club and caused permanent facial scarring.

Barton was said to be a secondary offender, as his ex-girlfriend's stepfather initiated the violence by hitting the man with the wood, breaking it into two pieces over his head before throwing a number of punches.

Barton was said to have become involved, kicking the man in the chest as he bent over in pain.

The incident began when Barton accused the man of theft, shouting "where's me f**king outboard" as the man was walking in the street at about 7pm.

Defence barrister Kate McMahon said Barton regretted his actions almost immediately, attempting reconciliation with the victim the very next day.

Ms McMahon said Barton sought him out to shake his hand and apologise.

Barton's youth, lack of relevant history, lesser involvement in the assault and remorse should all be counted in his favour, Ms McMahon argued.

Judge Hugh Botting told Barton that society "cannot tolerate young men ... becoming violent in the streets of Maryborough".

However he also noted Barton's lack of history and said he expected this would be Barton's last time before the court.

For this reason he did not record a conviction against Barton.

Judge Botting ordered an 18-month probation sentence for the assault.

The ex-girlfriend's stepfather, Ronald Barry Weldon, 43, was sentenced last year to four months in prison for his part in the assault.

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