‘Sad this ends here’: Veteran learns fate in assault trial
AN elderly Vietnam veteran who served as a "tunnel rat" has been jailed for bashing his neighbour, a fellow veteran, at their Cairns retirement village.
But Judge Dean Morzone has urged 73-year-old Robert Glenn Speakman to finally get help for the ghosts that have haunted him for 50 years and likely contributed to this attack.
Speakman was found guilty of grievous bodily harm against Wayne Maxwell Campbell, also 73, after a jury spent almost two days deliberating following a trial in the Cairns District Court.
The court heard Mr Campbell suffered 13 fractures to his ribs, was left with bone fragments floating in his chest cavity and would likely have died if not treated following the assault at Warhaven in Manunda in July 2018.
Judge Morzone handed Speakman a four-year jail sentence on Friday with a parole release date in July 2022.
But he also spoke of Speakman's distinguished service to his country as part of the 17th Construction Squadron.
"You were surely a hero but you returned to your home country broken," he said.
"It's time you do your darnedest, that you work through matters that have been too painful."
Originally published as 'So sad this ends here': Veteran learns fate after assault trial