Noa Ronnie Etheridge attacked Koongal woman Kerry Gittins in her home on January 9, 2018. Picture: Jann Houley
Noa Ronnie Etheridge attacked Koongal woman Kerry Gittins in her home on January 9, 2018. Picture: Jann Houley

Hammer attacker appeals conviction

A ROCKHAMPTON man jailed over a drug-fuelled hammer attack which left a woman with a broken skull has appealed his conviction.

Noa Ronnie Etheridge, 26, was sentenced to 16 years’ jail at Rockhampton Supreme Court after a jury found him guilty of the attempted murder of Kerry Gittins in her Koongal home in 2018.

Hammer attack victim reduced to ‘meaningless’ life

Etheridge had taken a cocktail of drugs when he entered her home and smashed her over the head with a claw hammer – leaving her with multiple skull fractures and three broken teeth – before stealing her wallet and Nissan car.

At the time Etheridge was already on parole for the hit-and-run death of 17-year-old Jamal Lawton, in 2014.

The court was told at Etheridge’s sentence how Ms Gittins is “sick of people telling her she is extremely lucky she is alive” and felt it would be “economically better if she was dead”.

At the Queensland Court of Appeal on Monday, Etheridge challenged his conviction arguing there had been a miscarriage of justice.

His defence barrister said the fault stemmed from an “unnecessary” direction that the sentencing justice had given to the jury which, he said, could have affected Etheridge’s chance of acquittal.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision to a later date. – NewsRegional



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