Six months jail for man in bashing incident
A SPRINGFIELD man who punched and kicked a man when he leapt to the aid of female friends being harassed in a taxi line at Fortitude Valley must serve six months behind bars.
Damian Matthew Coppolecchia, 25, will be out before his planned marriage next March but Brisbane District Court heard he feared time in jail would jeopardise the Springfield house he shared a mortgage on with his partner.
Judge Sarah Bradley said his actions must be punished with some actual jail time as part of the two-year prison sentence she handed down on Wednesday.
But she reduced the time he must serve because he pleaded guilty early and offered to give the 21-year-old victim $5000 compensation.
Judge Bradley viewed CCTV footage showing Coppolecchia and the victim shaping up about 4.30am on July 22 last year.
He delivered two punches and then, after the victim fell to the ground, Coppolecchia kicked him in the head.
Crown prosecutor Mathew Thompson said the victim's friend had approached girls in a long taxi line to see if they could share a cab.
He said the attention was persistent and unwanted so the girls phoned Coppolecchia, who was in a taxi line elsewhere in the Valley, to help.
Mr Thompson described the violence as "gratuitous", noting especially the kick on the ground.
"This is an act of significant violence committed in a public place at night," he said.
Defence barrister Steve Kissick said the victim had earlier punched his client on the other side of the road, before the video footage shown in court.
He said his client was appalled and ashamed at the kicking when he saw the footage and he did not realise the victim's friend had pinned him, in an effort to stop the fighting, just before he threw punches.
Mr Kissick said Coppolecchia suffered a major financial loss when his Goodna business was destroyed in the 2011 floods.
Judge Bradley said Coppolecchia had a reason to be there, that he had been called into the situation.
But she said the victim had suffered significant injuries which required surgery and a metal plate to fix a fractured cheek bone.
"The force you used was excessive and delivered at a point when the complainant simply couldn't fight back," she said.