A YOUNG man who bashed a teenager in an alcohol-fuelled attack, causing $50,000 worth of dental damage, has been sentenced to 12 months jail.
In sentencing 19-year-old Robert Keith Hanshaw, Judge Richard Jones said the courts and the community were tired of "young drunken offenders causing serious bodily harm" and the importance of public deterrence "loomed large".
But for his tender age and lack of criminal history, Hanshaw would have spent last night behind bars but Judge Jones wholly suspended the sentence on the grounds that it would not be in the community's interest to lock up someone who was a hard worker and "an otherwise upstanding member of the community".
The court heard Hanshaw was fuelled by "drunken rage and jealousy" when he brutally bashed an even younger man at a Hervey Bay nightclub.
In an unfortunate series of events, the victim, who was just 17, had used his older brother's licence to go out on what he thought would be a fun night on the town.
The victim was rushed to hospital with critical injuries which, the court heard, led to ongoing complications and a damage bill of up to $50,000 for dental repairs.
Judge Jones said the elements of the offence met the criteria for a charge of grievous bodily harm.
He noted that the attack was unprovoked and that the injuries had caused the victim great emotional and financial stress.
He said Hamshaw's youth and the importance of deterring others from committing similar offences each played "a significant" role in determining the sentence but ultimately found that it was not in Hanshaw's interest or the interest of the community to have a young man "exposed to moral and physical corruption".
Hanshaw risks serving the sentence if he commits an offence within the next two years.