Man who bashed Asian tourist released on parole
AN IPSWICH man who went on a vile racist rant before bashing an Asian tourist on the Gold Coast has been released on immediate parole despite being sentenced to 15 months behind bars.
Lonie Michael Gwilliams, 34, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court on October 24 to unlawful assault causing grievous bodily harm to a man visiting from Victoria.
The Brisbane District Court, at his sentencing hearing on Thursday, was told Gwilliams had travelled to the Gold Coast in August, 2013, for a weekend away with his partner when he launched a tirade of abuse at a couple looking for a restaurant.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer O'Brien told the court Gwilliams had an extensive criminal history which was littered with violent offences.
She said the Victorian man and his wife were simply looking for a restaurant when Gwilliams set upon them.
"He yelled out to the man 'You killed my grandfather ... get out of my country' before approaching the man and pushing him to the ground," she said.
"He then proceeded to kick the man in the head and face while he lay on the ground.
"The man sustained cuts, abrasions and bruises to his head and face as a result of the attack."
Ms O'Brien said people should be able to walk the streets safely without being subjected to racial attacks and violence.
She said the attack was completely unprovoked.
"This offence was racially motivated, or at the very least, had racial undertones," she said.
Defence barrister James Godbolt said Gwilliams was intoxicated at the time and had a long history of mental health issues.
He said Gwilliams was prone to abusing alcohol and drugs.
"Those three combinations are disastrous," he said.
"His offending is clearly very bizarre indeed."
Judge Nicholas Samios sentenced Gwilliams to 15 months behind bars but ordered he be released on immediate parole after he took into account the two months he had already served in prison which was not declarable.
He said Gwilliams' attack on the man was deplorable.
"What you did was absolutely despicable," he said.
"No doubt it would have been a very unpleasant visit to Queensland for the man you assaulted and his partner."
- APN NEWSDESK.