Australia Man guilty of knockout punch that broke victim's jaw at Canberra's Spilt Milk music festival

10:50  21 october  2020
10:50  21 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a group of people in front of a large crowd of people: The assault happened at Canberra's Spilt Milk festival. (Facebook: Spilt Milk) © Provided by ABC NEWS The assault happened at Canberra's Spilt Milk festival. (Facebook: Spilt Milk)

A man who knocked his victim out in a one-punch attack at Canberra's Spilt Milk festival, breaking his jaw, has been found guilty in the ACT Supreme Court.

Jese Smith-Shields and his friend Bailey Loughhead, both 22, were charged with causing grievous bodily harm in a joint commission, after a fight at the festival.

Today a jury cleared Mr Loughhead of all charges, but found Smith-Shields guilty of the lesser charge of causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard there was tension when the men ran into each other, due to rumours the victim had slept with Smith-Shields' former girlfriend.

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The victim's girlfriend told the court how he had been in a happy mood until he saw the two accused and tensed up.

She said Smith-Shields then said: "Do you have something to say c***?"

Prosecutors said an angry confrontation followed, during which the victim was pushed to the ground and put in a headlock by Mr Loughhead, and then punched by Smith-Shields.

One witness told the court he saw the victim bounce back with his hands up, looking dazed after the punch.

But Smith-Shields' lawyer Beth Morrisroe told the jury it was the victim who had been aggressive, even after being pushed to the ground and put in a bear hug.

She said her client did the only thing he could to defend himself.

"He had a split second to think about how to stop this guy," she said.

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Pictured: The swollen jaw and bloodied face that show the horrific results of a one- punch attack as the victim describes waking on the floor 'with a mouthful of broken teeth'. Tristan Ceccato was knocked unconscious at a bar in Perth on Saturday.

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"He delivered a single strike and he got out of there.

"That is self defence."

Accused apologised the following day

Prosecutor Trent Hickey suggested the fact Smith-Shields had run away showed a consciousness of guilt.

But Ms Morrisroe told the jury Smith-Shields did not know the victim was unconscious when he ran away.

When he later heard about the injuries he sent a message to the victim, his mother and his girlfriend, apologising.

"I'm just seeing if you're OK," he said.

"That's the last thing I wanted to happen and feel horrible for it.

"If you're up for it, I'd like to come and see you and show how sorry I am for yesterday."

Ms Morrisroe said that was consistent with the claim of self defence.

"[These] are not the actions of a person who has callously hit someone and run away." she argued.

"I suggest to you what he did was completely reasonable."

Mr Loughhead's lawyer Jack Pappas suggested his client had been justified in pushing the man, and that he was only trying to get between Smith-Shields and the victim, who he said was advancing on them.

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"He was a very big man, a weight trainer, someone who was aggravated and intent on moving forward," he said.

Mr Hickey acknowledged there had been no premeditation, but said it was not excusable with the heightened social awareness about one-punch attacks.

"One-punch assaults have dominated the media in recent years to the extent that we are all aware — and the accused, Jese, agreed with this — that we are all aware of a substantial risk that really serious injury will happen if someone throws a massive punch to another person's face," Mr Hickey said.

"The accused must have been aware that an injury of that type would happen.

"It was simply unjustifiable for the accused to take the risk.

"I suggest the sad reality from all the evidence is that the accused Jese Smith-Shields recklessly inflicted grievous bodily harm on [the victim], and Bailey participated in the assault on him."

The jury rejected Smith Shields's self-defence case.

He will be sentenced next month.

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