Queensland father Conrad Joseph Carter has been jailed for the one-punch death of Wayne Tomie. Picture: AAP image, John Gass
Queensland father Conrad Joseph Carter has been jailed for the one-punch death of Wayne Tomie. Picture: AAP image, John Gass

Man jailed over cowardly one-punch attack

MARK Tolmie thought his brother Wayne was calling to gloat about Queensland winning the State of Origin when he answered his phone on the night of June 1, 2016.

Instead, the call was from a detective, telling him his baby brother had been the victim of one-punch attack that later claimed the 50-year-old's life.

Conrad Joseph Carter, 35, was today sentenced to eight years' jail by the Brisbane Supreme Court for the manslaughter of Wayne Tolmie, who died in hospital after being knocked to the ground in the June 2016 attack in Morayfield, north of Brisbane.

The court heard Carter had a long history of alcohol abuse and was drunk on the night he approached Mr Tolmie, who was "extremely drunk" and sitting on the street after being kicked out of a venue.

He was yelling, but at no one in particular, the court heard.

Carter was walking home from his mother's home, also intoxicated, when he approached the man and said: "Do you want a piece of me? Are you f***ing talking to me?"

Mark Tomie thought his brother Wayne was calling to gloat about Queensland winning the State of Origin when he answered his phone on the night of June 1, 2016.
Mark Tomie thought his brother Wayne was calling to gloat about Queensland winning the State of Origin when he answered his phone on the night of June 1, 2016.

Mr Tolmie tried to back away when Carter punched him in the right jaw, which cracked so loudly it could be heard from some distance away, Crown Prosecutor Angus Edwards told the court.

When the 50-year-old father fell unconscious to the ground, Carter continued to punch him and was seen stomping down, before telling the man: "Do you want to f***ing yell at me?"

When passers-by came to help the injured man, Carter tried to attack them, saying: "Do you want to have a go too, c***?"

The court heard when the Good Samaritan's told Carter they were trying to help Mr Tolmie the attacker realised what had happened, began apologising and assisted with CPR.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to kill him," the court heard Carter said.

He then waited for police to arrive.

Mr Tolmie never recovered.

"You no doubt now wish you had walked past Mr Tolmie on that night, so does his family, so does your family," Justice Sue Brown said to Carter in the dock today.

"Like you, he is a father. Like you, he is loved by his family.

"Many of his family are here and their pain is obvious. Nothing I can say or any sentence I can impose can take away that pain."

The court heard Carter was a "proud Aboriginal man" who engaged with his heritage and his mother had been a member of the stolen generation.

The court heard he had made efforts to rehabilitate because he and alcohol are a "lethal combination".

Carter was on probation and a suspended sentence at the time he killed Mr Tolmie.

The court heard he had previously been convicted of assaulting his partner of 19 years, who supported him in court today, by ripping her out of bed while she was asleep by the hair and slamming her head against a wall because he believed she was not contributing financially to their household.

Carter will be eligible for parole in May 2021 after serving 481 days on remand.

Outside court, Mr Tolmie's brother Mark Tolmie, who lives in NSW, said he thought his brother was ringing to "have a jab" at him for losing the State of Origin the night police phoned to say his younger brother had been attacked.

"It's a big shock, you don't expect anything like this to happen," he said.

"Then it happens to you, you get a phone call and you're devastated.

"It shouldn't happen, it should not happen."

Mr Tolmie said he believed the sentence handed down to Carter was "fair enough".

"We don't make the decisions, they're for the lawyers and the barristers and the judge," he said.

"I think it was fair. It impacted my family, it impacted his family.

"It was a senseless act, I can't understand why Conrad Carter had to do that."