A DISPUTE about a jacket escalated into a man punching a female family member twice in the face.
At Ipswich District Court, Selwyn Jack Simpson pleaded guilty to an assault occasioning bodily harm charge.
Simpson had been drinking when he visited the Riverview home of the victim, who was his second cousin, and demanded she return a jacket.
Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said the jacket had belonged to Simpson's partner, who died in 2009.
Ms Kelso said the victim had been unaware of the sentimental significance of the item and was under the impression she had bought the jacket from Simpson.
The disagreement resulted in Simpson, then 34, striking the woman twice in the face.
Ms Kelso said the punches fractured the victim's nose but that no medical intervention had been required.
The assault took place on June 26, last year.
Ms Kelso said Simpson's criminal history was peppered with drunken violence and public nuisance offences.
She said the 36-year-old's attack on the victim had been "unacceptable and unprovoked".
Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme said Simpson had a long-standing alcohol problem, which had contributed to much of his offending.
Mr Seaholme said his client had taken considerable steps towards rehabilitation and had been helping the community through various endeavours.
He said the turning point for Simpson was a stroke he suffered while in custody in February.
Mr Seaholme said his client, an accomplished artist and father-of-two, had not committed an offence since the stroke.
He suggested Simpson could be placed on probation to allow his client to continue "his good work".
"My client's been given parole twice this year and has never breached," Mr Seaholme said.
"Putting him in prison would just set him back."
In sentencing, Judge Helen Bowski said Simpson had overreacted during the incident and that his behaviour was not acceptable.
However Judge Bowski added she was pleased to hear Simpson was making good progress towards his rehabilitation.
Simpson was convicted and sentenced to 16 months in jail and released on parole.
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