Ballina basher behind bars after 11 years on run
HE GOT drunk at a Ballina pub and broke a man's jaw in three places, pleaded guilty in court and went on the run before he could be jailed.
Now Gary Todd Walker is behind bars after 11 years on the run - and despite his best efforts, he will be staying there for some time.
The NSW Supreme Court has dismissed Walker's appeal for leniency after he was sentenced to two years in prison with no parole for at least 12 months.
The court heard Walker, then 38, bashed Neil Goss outside the Australian Hotel in Ballina in June 2003 in an unprovoked attack that left his victim unconscious and bleeding on the footpath.
Mr Goss was walking with two friends when Walker raised his voice and asked "Do you want a shot at the title?” and punched him in the left side of his face, the court heard.
Mr Goss needed three metal plates to be surgically inserted into his jaw.
Walker gave police a false name when they arrived, but his true identity became known back at the Ballina police station when officers found his wallet.
He could not be interviewed because of his violent behaviour.
"While in the dock he said: 'Did you see me standing over him and sink the slipper? No. I just tapped him', and then punched his fist into his palm,” Justice Fabian Gleeson said.
"When informed of the victim's condition, the applicant replied 'Why would I give a f***?'”
Walker had several previous convictions for assault, stealing, malicious injury, carrying a weapon and failing to appear in court, but was still granted bail after pleading guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He missed his sentencing date in court and was only found by chance when he was pulled up at a police road block in Victoria in October last year - 11 years after his initial arrest.
Justice Gleeson found there was no merit to Walker's appeal for a shorter prison term, and the two-year sentence was in fact "relatively lenient”.
"(Walker's) response at the time of his arrest demonstrated that he had no consideration for the victim,” Justice Gleeson said.