Tuesday, 28 October 2008

19-drink thug beats jail by 'skin of teeth'

A YOUNG man who had 19 alcoholic drinks before bashing the son of a former Geelong Football Club captain yesterday was ordered to serve a jail term in the community.

Judge Frances Hogan warned Joshua William Martin, 20, that he had escaped jail "by the skin of your teeth".

The County Court heard Martin was out with friends at Geelong's Room 99 nightclub on June 2, last year when he was involved in an unprovoked attack on Che Turner.

Mr Turner, 21, the son of former AFL Geelong captain Michael, was confronted by Martin's group after he said goodbye to an ejected friend.

He was surrounded and assaulted. Martin hit him so hard that a patron reported hearing the cheekbone cracking above the music.

Martin told police he could not remember it, and had drunk eight rum and cokes, six tequila slammers, three vodkas and two jaegerbombs.

But Judge Hogan said Martin later gave evidence in "extraordinarily elaborate detail" that he acted in self-defence.

Martin, of Leopold, was found guilty by a jury of recklessly causing serious injury.

His victim, a member of an AFL Academy, now has four titanium plates in his face.

Judge Hogan, saying Martin had shown no remorse for his "cowardly" attack, sentenced him to 12 months' jail, to be served by an intensive corrections order in the community.

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