A LANCEFIELD man who bashed a man unconscious because the man pulled his hair has narrowly avoided prison.
Lyndon Lee Thompson, 22, assaulted the 26-year-old man outside the Lancefield Hotel on January 11.
Thompson was sentenced to two years’ jail in May but had the decision overturned on appeal in the Bendigo County Court yesterday.
He was instead ordered to serve a two-year community corrections order.
The court heard Thompson and the victim had been in a verbal argument at the Lancefield Hotel before they went outside to “settle a score”.
According to Thompson’s defence counsel, Leighton Gwynn, the victim had been goading Thompson by pulling on his hair.
Thompson and the victim walked outside the hotel, where Thompson knocked the man unconscious with one punch to the head.
CCTV footage from the night showed Thompson lean back before striking the victim on the chin with full force.
The victim hit his head on the concrete driveway and lost consciousness.
Witness statements tendered to the court described the victim lying unmoving in a pool of blood.
After the assault Thompson returned to the hotel and told staff “I’ve knocked him out”.
The court heard the victim suffered ongoing physical injuries and was unable to work for three months after the attack.
Crown prosecutor Peter Jones said the attack was at the higher end of offending.
Mr Jones opposed a community corrections order and said the original jail sentence was warranted.
“This sort of behaviour is in the papers every week,” he said.
“The community is fed up with it.”
Defence counsel Mr Gwynn argued that his client had been provoked. Mr Gwynn said Thompson was a man of low intellect and did not understand the consequences of his actions.
Judge Richard Maidment said there was no doubt the injuries Thompson inflicted on the victim could have been more serious.
He ordered Thompson to undergo counselling for anger management as part of his supervised corrections order.
“It may be seen as a soft option,” he said. “In truth it is a difficult path to follow.”
Thompson will serve 250 hours of community work as part of the community corrections order.