‘No’ to beer with roommate lands Emerald man in jail

BEER can bring people together, but it can also tear them apart.

An Emerald man found this out the hard way one night, when he refused to get out of bed and crack open a cold one with his room mate.

The following day he was in hospital nursing a fractured face.

James Patrick Bourke, 28, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Wednesday to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, and wilful damage, as well as separate charges of drink driving and unlicensed driving.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Shaun Janes told the court Bourke and the victim lived and worked together in Emerald at the time of the offence on February 22 last year.

He said Bourke and his roomie were both out drinking with separate people on this night.

At 8.30pm the victim went home to bed. But three hours later, he was woken by Bourke entering his bedroom.

Snr Const Janes told the court Bourke asked the victim to have a beer with him, but he refused.

Bourke then struck the victim in the face, before running out of the room and downstairs.

The victim also left and went to his car. However, as he was reversing out of the driveway, Bourke ran at the car and leapt onto the bonnet, punching the windscreen.

It shattered, but the victim kept driving straight to the police station and then to the hospital.

Eventually, he was taken to Brisbane for surgery.

The court heard Bourke was picked up for the offence in Rockhampton in September, when he was pulled over by police for a random breath test.

Defence solicitor Matthew Heelan said Bourke was remorseful.

"He wants to right his wrong by serving his time," he said.

Mr Heelan told the court it was out of character for his client, who claims he blacked out in some sort of fit of rage.

Bourke was sentenced to 15 months jail, to be considered for parole on September 8.

He was also ordered to pay almost $2000 to the complainant and fined another $2000 for the driving offences.



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