Jail for one-punch

By David Kavanagh | posted on June 6, 2019

A MAN who punched another man off a balcony at a party in Denmark last year will spend the next 12 months in prison after he was sentenced in the Albany Magistrates Court last Thursday.

Justin Victor Godden pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm for attacking the owner of the property hosting his cousin’s 21st birthday celebrations on November 11.

Magistrate Raelene Johnston described the case as “a gravely serious matter” and said there was a need to send a strong message of deterrence to both Mr Godden and the community.

“One-punch type incidents are too prevalent in the community,” she said.

“This does warrant an immediate term of imprisonment.”

At a hearing earlier this month, Prosecuting Sergeant Alan Dean said Mr Godden had struck the victim in the face with “such force” it caused him to fall backwards off of a 1.5 metre high balcony onto a half cut wine barrel.

He said the victim sustained three fractures to his lower vertebra, a sore hip and was unable to return to work until December as a result of his injuries.

Mr Godden had been on bail for a similar offence he committed in August at the time of the assault.

Ms Johnston said while she accepted Mr Godden had been “clearly intoxicated” during the incident at the party, there was no justification for his actions.

A sullen faced Mr Godden offered he had acted like an “idiot.”

“Not just an idiot … when you drink, you’ve proven yourself to be a danger,” Ms Johnston responded.

“The fact you were on bail for a very similar offence is aggravating.”

Mr Godden’s lawyer, Siobhan Nims, said since the incident occurred her client had been responding well to treatment at the Palmerston Association and had given up alcohol entirely.