Thursday, 6 March 2008

Rock thrower gets 4yrs' jail

A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to four years' jail for critically injuring a beauty therapist when he threw a rock at a car on the Princes Highway, on the New South Wales south coast.

Twenty-five-year-old Peter Hodgkins pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Nicole Miller in July 2007.

Ms Miller had been travelling in a car near Kiama when a rock thrown by Hodgkins hit her on the head.

She spent four days in a coma with a fractured skull and a brain laceration before surgeons removed part of her skull. She then spent several months recovering in hospital.

Hodgkins was today sentenced in Wollongong District Court. He will be eligible for parole in two years.

During sentencing submissions, Ms Miller read a statement to the court describing the physical damage she sustained as a result of the attack, including hearing loss, loss of peripheral vision, memory loss and the insertion of a titanium plate in her head.

She also spoke of the psychological impact but was unable to continue. Her mother finished the statement on her behalf.

Hodgkins later apologised to Ms Miller, describing his actions as the lowest things you could do to an innocent person.

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