Man threw a punch "as hard as he could"

AN accused man has admitted he thought he'd killed someone after seeing the man bleeding in the gutter.

A court yesterday heard a recorded police interview where Tristan Leo Robert Atkinson, 22, admitted to punching Clinton Joshua James Scott in the head "as hard as he could".

Atkinson has pleaded not guilty at the Ipswich District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm while in company.

He does not deny punching Scott, but said he intervened to break up a fight between Scott and a friend.

Defence lawyer Geoff Seaholme said Atkinson admitted to having assaulted Scott, but denied the attack was unlawful. He said if Atkinson had been hit first, as he told police, his retaliation could be justified as self-defence.

Atkinson has been accused of instigating an unprovoked attack on Scott in Booval on December 16, 2012.

Scott fell to the ground where he cracked his head on a gutter, fracturing his skull and causing bleeding inside his head.

Atkinson said when he tried to push them apart Scott hit him in the face. He then punched Scott "as hard as he could".

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"I thought I killed someone. I was freaking out. I was crying for like three days until I heard he was going to be alright," he said.

In the recorded interview Atkinson denied kicking or stomping on Scott, as the alleged victim's girlfriend testified, saying he fled the scene immediately.

"His girlfriend was screaming, but I could barely hear her," he said.

"There was so much blood. I heard the way he fell and when he hit the ground it was very, very loud.

"All I seen was blood and I knew he hit the ground hard."

He said the "One Punch Can Kill" campaign was running through his head the whole time.

"Instantly that's what went into my head. I freaked out."

In summing up Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand said Atkinson's account of events was unreliable and self serving. The jury is expected to retire to consider their verdict today.


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