GRIEVING relatives and friends were having a few drinks at the funeral wake when a fight suddenly erupted.
One defenceless mourner, Cedric Yow Yeh, was punched to the ground, kicked to his head and lost consciousness.
One of his assailants, 23-year-old Darren Christopher Broome, has finally gone before the District Court in Bundaberg where he pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting Mr Yow Yeh, causing bodily harm when in company of other persons.
Darren Broome failed to appear when the matter was listed before the higher court in September. However, his brother Alex Broome, 20, was sentenced after pleading guilty for his role in the assault.
Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said Broome was 21 at the time of the offence in December 2015. He has previously been sentenced over other unrelated assaults.
Outlining the offender's relevant criminal history before Judge Anthony Rafter SC, Mr Cook said Broome was involved in a traffic crash in February 2016 while on bail.
At the scene Broome punched two men in their faces, one from behind who he also kicked in the ribs while lying on the ground, causing the man to lose consciousness. He was returned to custody in July 2016 after his parole was suspended.
Mr Cook said for the assault on Mr Yow Yeh, the Crown sought a jail term of 18 months to two years, and to serve one-third in custody.
He said the co-accused Alex Broome, who was 18 at the time of the offence, was sentenced to 10 months' jail but had then spent eight months in pre-sentence custody.
"It is a particularly nasty assault, hitting him when defenceless at a funeral. The victim did not do anything and could not see properly," Mr Cook said. "He suffered not insignificant injuries."
Mr Cook explained that the case became complicated because Mr Yow Yeh was assaulted soon after the brothers' assaults by a man, Anthony James Pearce.
However, he said Broome, by kicking him when on the ground and defenceless, contributed to Mr Yow Yeh's significant injuries. It was aggravated by his being on a suspended sentence at the time.
Defence barrister Peter Richards said Broome was a father of two children and his criminal history was quite concerning.
He sought his immediate release to parole because of the time spent in custody, although this was the result of breaching parole. Mr Richards said a crushing imposition of sentence would not be appropriate.
Judge Rafter told Broome he had a real problem with violence, including the assaults on the two men at the accident scene. He said Broome and other mourners went to the home of Anthony Pearce after the funeral where people became intoxicated.
He said Pearce blocked the exit to Mr Yow Yeh, then 39, who was punched to the side of his head causing him to fall to the ground. A witness identified Darren Broome as the person who struck the blow.
Judge Rafter said Broome spent 16 days in custody after his arrest following his failure to appear in court.
He sentenced Broome to 18 months' jail and ordered his release to parole on December 13.