22 April 2010

Man jailed for attacking stranger in the main street of Ipswich


A MAN who attacked a stranger in the centre of Ipswich will spend  the next two months behind bars.

Caught: CCTV footage shows the victim being
grabbed and then kicked before his attacker is
placed under arrest by police.

A MAN who attacked a stranger in the centre of Ipswich will spend the next two months behind bars.

John Adrian Rigby, 28, had been drinking with friends on December 8 to celebrate passing a Responsible Service of Alcohol course before punching the 51-year-old man in the head.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Safe City operators had been keeping an eye on the 51-year-old man from 6.23pm – as he appeared intoxicated – while he walked across Brisbane Street.

The footage, which was played to the court, shows the pair having a discussion before Rigby took off his watch. Rigby then rushed forward and viciously punched his victim in the face, elbowed him and kicked him as he lay on the ground. Police, who were already on their way to the scene after being called by Safe City operators, arrived just seconds after the attack and arrested Rigby. Rigby, who has an extensive criminal history littered with violent offences, pleaded guilty to committing a public nuisance.

He was sentenced to four months jail and will be released on parole on June 18.

Prosecutor Sergeant John Nelson said Rigby had been convicted of eight assault charges within the past nine years.

He said the offence breached a 12-month suspended sentence imposed in January last year.

Sgt Nelson said previous stints behind bars seemed not to have deterred Rigby from committing further offences.

"He's still committing gratuitous acts of violence in a public street in full daylight," he said.

Defence lawyer Jonathon Ide said the older man had sworn and "mouthed off" at his client and Rigby reacted poorly.

Mr Ide said the attack was not in the "worst type" of public nuisances and said Rigby should not serve actual time in jail.

Magistrate Michael Quinn said it was a "vicious and cowardly assault on a person incapable of defending himself".

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the Safe City program was invaluable and had helped the police arrest Rigby before the situation could escalate.

"Since the introduction of the cameras in 1994 crime has been reduced by 73 per cent," Cr Pisasale said.

"I'm sure the courts also appreciate the savings in time when defendants plead guilty after viewing Safe City footage."

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