A 25-year old man has been convicted to more than ten years in jail over a fatal assault under an Australian state’s new one-punch laws created to address alcohol-fueled violence.
A Sydney court sentenced Hugh Garth, 25, to more than 10 years prison for fatally striking nurse Raynor Manalad outside a 21st birthday party in 2014, reported the ABC. Garth was found guilty of the crime in May.
Garth admitted to being intoxicated when he punched Manalad. He said it was done out of self-defense. Manalad died of brain damage in hospital the day after the attack.
Garth was already on a good behavior our bond for drunken violence before punching Manalad.
Judge Antony Townsden said alcohol-fueled violence was all too common, reported the ABC.
“Over recent years, the incidence of such offences, particularly when associated with the excessive consumption of alcohol, have been all too frequent,” Townsden said Friday, Dec. 8.
“Such offences are cause for grave disquiet and the community is understandably angry and frustrated by their occurrence.”
During the sentencing, the judge said that Garth had shown no remorse for what he did and had not taken responsibility for what occurred.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) December 8, 2017
Outside the court, Manalad’s mother expressed no sympathy for the murderer of her child.
“I don’t feel anything for him and the family, I won’t waste any breath, any part of my brain for them,” she said, reported the ABC.
Along with her husband, she implored that young men who drink alcohol when they go out act responsibly.
“Be responsible, be good, be kind and be the best version of yourself, take responsibility for your actions,” she said.
The one-punch law sets a mandatory no-parole period of eight years and a maximum of 25 years for anyone found guilty of lethally hitting another with a single punch while drunk or under the influence of drugs, reported ABC.
Garth is the first person to be convicted under the law.
Over the past several years, there has been similar incidences of fatal so-called “king hits” in Sydney. One-punch legislation was introduced in New South Wales after the deaths of two teenagers, Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly.
Kelly, 18, was killed in the nightclub area of Kings Cross in Sydney by a drunken stranger in 2012. A year later, Christie, also 18, was killed in the same area by a single punch thrown by another drunken stranger.
About 70,000 people are victims of alcohol-fueled assaults each year in Australia, say official statistics. An estimated 60 percent of police time is spent on alcohol-fueled issues.
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