Peter Vohland was punched 14 times and suffered a fractured eye socket, bruising and swelling to his left eye and a severely swollen left cheek.
Peter Vohland was punched 14 times and suffered a fractured eye socket, bruising and swelling to his left eye and a severely swollen left cheek. Supplied

Jail for attack on deaf man

A MAN who repeatedly punched a deaf farmhand to the face during a “gratuitous act of thuggery and violence” has been jailed for 18 months.

The victim, Peter Vohland, was left with a fractured eye socket, bruising and swelling to his left eye, and a severely swollen left cheek.

Bundaberg District Court was told Denton Sydney Ziebell, 25, from Monto, attacked Mr Vohland, 28, while he was watching television at home about 11.30pm on October 3, 2009.

Prosecutor Samara Skubij said Ziebell came to Vohland’s Monto home looking for a drunk female friend who had been at Vohland’s house earlier that night.

Mr Vohland had given her a lift to town and then returned home.

When Mr Vohland said the woman was not there, Ziebell punched him four times in the face.

Ms Skubij said Mr Vohland fell over a wheelie bin and flower pots.

“He tried to stop him and held out his hands saying ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, let me explain’,” Ms Skubij said.

Ziebell then punched Mr Vohland about 10 times while he was on the ground.

The prosecutor said Mr Vohland was taken to Monto Hospital the day of the attack and later flown to Bundaberg Hospital.

He was treated for a fractured eye socket and it was some time before the swelling reduced enough for doctors to determine the extent of his injuries.

The attack meant Mr Vohland had to have a metal plate and seven screws inserted in his face, and his nose was placed in a splint.

Ms Skubij said the victim feared Ziebell would attack him again if he returned to Monto, and he had since quit his farmhand job and moved from the town.

The court was told Mr Vohland also suffered from nightmares, depression, vomiting attacks and was unable to work for three months.

Ms Skubij said Ziebell was well aware of the victim’s hearing impairment because the pair has previously worked together.

Ziebell pleaded guilty yesterday to assaulting Mr Vohland.

Defence barrister Jakub Lodziak said Ziebell had a 10-month-old son with whom he spent most of his time when not working.

Mr Lodziak said Ziebell had come to court aware he would go to jail.

Judge Gregory Koppenol described the attack as a “gratuitous act of thuggery and violence”.

“In our community we must be able to sit at home without people like you coming in and bashing them,” he said.

Mr Koppenol sentenced Ziebell to 18 months’ jail, with parole eligibility after six months.



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