Jail time for glassing thug
A SERIAL Warwick pest who drunkenly attacked an Indian doctor in a Gold Coast hotel on Australia Day last year has been sentenced to 12 months jail, but will only serve two months actual time.
Ken Gordon Leggatt – who is a familiar face in the Warwick Courthouse – pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court this week to the violent assault of Dr Chouramuthi Naidoo in the Marriott Hotel at Surfers Paradise.
The court heard Leggatt, aged 23 at the time, drank a copious amount of rum and took drugs in a room in the hotel during the day and had a glass in his hand when he entered a lift around 7pm.
Also in the lift were Dr Naidoo and his family – holidaying from Western Australia – who became the target of a racist rant from an intoxicated Leggatt who admitted he yelled to them, “This is Australia Day. Get back to the country you’re from.”
The court was told Dr Naidoo followed Leggatt out of the lift asking what his problem was, with Leggatt responding by throwing his glass at Dr Naidoo and shattering it on his arm, leaving a deep six-centimetre gash which required stitches.
Leggatt then took flight to the sixth floor of the Marriott, jumping between balconies in a bid to evade Gold Coast police who arrived a short time after the attack and identified him from CCTV footage.
He was eventually detained and taken into custody.
Leggatt’s hate-filled outburst happened around the time of other racially-fuelled attacks on Indian nationals across Australia.
His barrister said Leggatt had consumed at least a bottle of rum and drugs before the incident and was “remorseful” and “shocked by the extent of the doctor’s injury”.
But his comments made on Facebook in the days leading up to his sentencing suggest remorse was the last thing Leggatt had felt, referring to the police as “dogs”, describing the charges as “old” and claiming to be confident about not going to jail.
On the morning of his sentencing, just a few days after his birthday, he wrote it was “time to front up and take anything they’re willing to throw at me like a man”.
Leggatt, who has a long history of violence and property offences, was earlier convicted of possessing ecstasy worth several thousand dollars on his Gold Coast jaunt.
His unpleasant past behaviour in Warwick has included publicly heckling a man with epilepsy, whom he later punched in the head.
He has no less than a dozen guilty verdicts from court appearances in Warwick at Magistrates Court level and has previously been given probation and required to complete an anger management course.
He pleaded guilty on Monday to unlawful wounding.
In sentencing him for the attack on Dr Naidoo, Judge Katherine McGinness said the racial attack was “particularly nasty” but that she also accepted that it was a spontaneous act on Leggatt’s part.
She sentenced him to 12 months in jail but after taking into account almost two months he spent in pre-sentence custody after being charged, granted him parole from September 30.