Man jailed for bashing of tourists

A BUNDABERG man chased down two Irish backpackers before punching, kicking and stomping on their heads until they were unconscious, a court was told.

Leroy Steven Couchy, 20, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court after being charged with grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm in company.

The court was told that in the late evening of January 28 last year, Couchy approached Irish backpacker David Joseph Earls and pushed him in the back near the Hungry Tum takeaway store on Bourbong Street.

As Mr Earls and his friend Jamie Messit walked back to their accommodation, Couchy and another man allegedly involved in the offence chased the backpackers down the street.

Couchy and his alleged co-offender caught up with the backpackers, who were running away, and began punching them.

The court was told that once the victims were on the ground, Couchy also kicked and stomped on their heads until they were knocked unconscious.

Witnesses called emergency services.

Judge Leanne Clare said Mr Messit suffered a broken jaw, as well as injuries to five teeth and his ear canal.

Mr Earls suffered a broken nose and cuts to his eye and cheek.

“The whole episode has a sadistic flavour,” Judge Clare said.

“The community is fed up and outraged at these kinds of attacks on innocent people.”

Defence counsel Julie Sharp said her client had had a troubled upbringing as his two parents had a problem with alcohol and subjected Couchy and his other siblings to physical abuse.

“He recalls bottles being broken over his head during some of those incidents,” she said.

Judge Leanne Clare sentenced Couchy to four years’ jail for the grievous bodily harm charge and two-and-a-half years’ jail for the assault occasioning bodily harm, to be served concurrently.

As he had been in custody since the attack took place, Judge Clare set his parole release date for May 28.

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