Man extradited for one-punch attack walks free from court
A MAN who punched his step-dad in the face and knocked him unconscious finally had his day in court.
The one-punch attack happened on January 17, 2015, but the man didn't front court until May 2019 after he was extradited from South Australia.
His application for bail was rejected and he was remanded in Maryborough Correctional Centre until yesterday.
Sean Leonard Sweeney, 35, fronted Hervey Bay District Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Crown prosecutor Gavin Webber said Sweeney and his stepfather were drinking alcohol with friends and family.
About 6pm, Sweeney and his step-dad were still drinking when an argument escalated.
The man stood up and walked towards Sweeney and said, "do you think you're a man?"
Sweeney threw one punch which landed on the man's left cheek, knocking him unconscious.
He was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital and later had re-constructive surgery to repair his sunken cheek bone.
The next day, Sweeney travelled to South Australia.
Defence barrister Victoria Trafford-Walker said her client told police after the incident, he wanted to move back to South Australia.
Ms Trafford-Walker said at no point did police tell Sweeney he could not leave Hervey Bay.
She said it wasn't until April 29, 2015 that police issued a warrant for his arrest.
"No action was taken until May 17, 2019, four years later," Ms Trafford-Walker said.
"He had no idea there was a warrant for his arrest."
She said during those years, Sweeney had built a life for himself.
He secured a job at a piggery, quit drugs and alcohol, married his partner and helped to care for five of her nine children.
Judge Ian Dearden convicted and sentenced Sweeney to 18 months in jail, suspended on August 7, 2019.