THAT'S ENOUGH: Police were called to an incident at Norths Leagues Club on March 8 this year, in which an off-duty officer was assaulted by Ashton Carter (pictured centre).
THAT'S ENOUGH: Police were called to an incident at Norths Leagues Club on March 8 this year, in which an off-duty officer was assaulted by Ashton Carter (pictured centre). Rob Williams

Cop basher freed after off-duty officer hit, stomped on

AN off-duty policeman who tried to stop a fight at a sports club was bashed, landing on the floor before having his head stomped on.

An Ipswich court heard that the assault stopped only when the attacker's father stopped his son, saying "enough".

The violent acts, described as totally unjustified, were committed by Ashton Carter, after the off-duty officer pulled a woman out of a fight.

Carter, a 22-year-old Springfield man, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to assault causing bodily harm at North Ipswich on March 8 this year.

Prosecutor Sergeant Bernard Elmore said Carter's actions were "sustained, protracted and vicious", and gratuitously violent.

In police facts before the court, the incident took place in the beer garden at Northern Suburbs Leagues Club on Pelican St.

The off-duty officer walked toward a fight and pulled people away, saying "police, break it up".

Then Carter and two females went up to him from behind and Carter threw punches, saying "Don't f---ing touch my girlfriend".

As the man turned to him saying "I'm a copper, I'm trying to help", Carter punched him multiple times in the face.

Carter's girlfriend grabbed the man while Carter continually punched to the left side of his face, the off-duty officer managing to block some. The victim used his right elbow to strike the female in the face so he could free himself from her grip.

Both Carter and the man ended up on the ground.

Carter stood over him, punched him two or three more times and then used his foot to stomp his head at least twice.

An older man, identified as Carter's dad, came between his son and the off-duty officer, saying "that's enough".

"This was sustained, protracted and vicious. An attack on a member of the public in a public place," Sgt Elmore said.

"It was gratuitous violence on a Good Samaritan. (For) no reason."

The off-duty officer suffered a broken nose, a laceration below his left eye, swollen left cheek, cuts and grazes.

Police sought a jail term of 15 months with a parole release date for Carter's offence.

Sgt Elmore also referred to precedent criminal cases where a judge found a punch to the head "is a very dangerous thing" that can cause significant injuries.

Sgt Elmore said Carter needed to receive actual jail time to ensure a clear message was sent out by the court.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum took into account defence submissions and Carter's personal circumstances, sentencing him to 12 months' jail with immediate parole.



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