AN ASPIRING Australian Air Force soldier has been sentenced to six months in jail for punching a Nepalese man in an unprovoked attack.
Mackinley Goodwin, 19, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and damaging property at Armidale Local Court on Monday.
Magistrate Michael Holmes said he thought the assault may have been racially motivated, but he could only consider the facts, which did not indicate racial motivations.
“The facts are appalling,” he said.
Read more stories:
“It wasn’t a six-foot-six footballer he attacked was it? It was a small diminutive person of Nepalese background.”
But, defence solicitor Yvonne Phillapos said Goodwin wouldn’t recognise the victim if he saw him again.
“He has absolutely no recollection of what occurred,” she said.
“I think it was very random, I don’t think he targeted this person because of his race.”
A report showed Goodwin admitted consuming four or five drinks on March 13, a blood alcohol level that would not warrant a blackout, police prosecutor sergeant Jim McDonald said.
“I’m not sure whether he just decided to pick on someone weaker or smaller than him – I don’t know what existed in this man’s mind that night but it’s extremely serious,” he said.
“The victim goes to McDonalds and has something to eat, walks back to where he’s residing and without provocation the accused approaches him and punches him in the left side of the jaw twice.
“The prosecution would be asking for a full time custodial sentence without doubt, even though it’s his first offence – he hasn’t really explained to the court a good reason why he did it.”
Goodwin was with a friend that night who began apologising to the victim, before the accused then walked back around and punched the victim to the forehead again, the court heard.
While the friend tried to calm down the victim, who fell to his knees as a result of the punch, the victim repeated, “If I have done a mistake I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Goodwin was ordered to pay $400 compensation to replace the victim’s broken glasses and mobile phone.
Magistrate Holmes said the victim fears for his safety if he remains studying in Armidale.
“He [Goodwin] must be held to account for his deeds,” he said. Goodwin was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, six months non-parole for the bashing, and six months for damaging property.