Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.
Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.

Airlie Beach assault ends in fractured jaw, brain bleeding

A Cannonvale man hugged his victim just minutes before punching him to the ground leaving him unconscious with a fractured jaw and bleeding brain.

Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court last week over the assault occasioning grievous bodily harm on February 6 last year outside Paddy's Shenanigans Irish Bar in Airlie Beach.

CCTV footage showed the then 23-year-old Tonon, who was on parole at the time, standing with two other males near the venue's front door.

He hugged one of them then six minutes later punched the same man in the face knocking him flat on his back.

He fled with the other male, neither checking on the victim's condition.

"The complainant suffered serious injuries as a result of this assault," Crown prosecutor Matthew Sutton said.

"In short, a fractured jaw and bleeding to the brain."

The court heard the victim needed surgery, lost about $100,000 in wages and may have suffered permanent hearing loss in his right ear.

Tonon received bail for the assault but he was arrested again on October 13 after assault causing bodily harm against his former girlfriend at their Cannonvale unit.

Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.
Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.

"The complainant was collecting her belongings in the bathroom; the defendant became upset with her and struck her across the face with his hand causing the complainant to fall," Mr Sutton said.

The court heard Tonon then armed himself with an axe and a knife.

 

Defence barrister Scott McLennan, instructed by Fisher Dore Lawyers, said Tonon had moved to Cannonvale to get away from methamphetamine use and "people he considered a bad influence".

"He's someone who's had ongoing difficulties since a teenager with his mental health," Mr McLennan said.

"The day before the assault (on his partner) … he was taken to the Proserpine (Hospital) emergency department by the police and the ambulance … after he was drinking bleach and pool cleaner and superficially cutting his wrists.

"He was noted there as having hearing voices and (being) deluded."

Mr McLennan said Tonon was transferred to Mackay Base Hospital and discharged the next day where his then partner agreed to drive him home.

But he said they got into a fight and she kicked him out of the car after which Tonon contacted an old associate, used methamphetamines and experienced "some sort of breakdown".

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Mr McLennan said police found Tonon after the assault with a knife and having taken a "potentially lethal dose" of prescription anxiety medicine.

He said Tonon was flown to Mackay Base Hospital, committed to the mental health unit and six days later his parole was suspended. Tonon has been in jail ever since.

Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.
Corey Dean Tonon faced Mackay District Court on Friday, March 12, 2021. Picture: Facebook.

The court also heard Tonon had a six-page criminal history with 32 prior convictions including three serious assaults, threatening to shoot a police officer and causing a siege situation after he barricaded himself inside a unit.

Judge Paul Smith said he agreed there was some hostility between Tonon, who pleaded guilty to all charges, and the male he punched outside of Paddy's Shenanigans but the provocation did not justify his actions.

"You started drinking at a young age and you describe yourself as a nasty drunk," Judge Smith told him.

He advised Tonon should seek further psychiatric help while in jail telling him he was "clearly in a very disturbed mental state" when he assaulted his then-partner.

Judge Smith sentenced Tonon to three years jail with a parole eligibility date of July 28 this year, having already served 110 days in presentence custody.

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