'cowardly bashing' man appeals against jail sentence

A MAN who was involved in the 'cowardly' bashing of an off-duty police officer was this week sentenced to nine months in jail.

Ian Bolt, 23, had been charged with numerous offences, including affray; assault occasioning actual bodily harm; maliciously inflicting bodily harm and assault.

But the Gundurimba man has now lodged an appeal against the severity of his sentence.

On February 3 last year Bolt was involved in a brawl in Woodlark Street, Lismore, during which an off-duty police officer was attacked and repeatedly punched in the head.

The officer's jaw was broken in two places and had to be wired back together with metal plates and screws.

He also suffered a 2cm laceration above his eye, which needed stitches.

According to police facts before Lismore Local Court, Bolt had been walking along Woodlark Street with his girlfriend and another friend, Samuel Gomes. The officer was walking in the opposite direction with his wife and some friends.

Gomes said something to the off-duty police officer and then punched him twice.

The victim chased Gomes and a CCTV operator saw the officer kick him.

A group of people surrounded the victim and repeatedly 'kicked and punched him'. A second group of people also joined in the assault.

Once he was on the ground, witnesses reported seeing a shirtless man punching the victim in the face. When police arrived at the scene, Bolt was putting on a shirt.

Police said the victim was 'semi-conscious, bleeding heavily from the face and head, had swelling to his cheek area and was unable to talk'.

In sentencing Bolt Magistrate Michael Dakin said it was beyond a 'mid-range offence'.

“It was, in my view, a cowardly action. The victim was being assaulted by many, many people,” he said.

Bolt was sentenced to nine months in jail with a non-parole period of six months.

He was also sentenced to jail terms for three separate incidents involving an assault, the breach of an apprehended domestic violence order, and driving with a high-range prescribed concentration of alcohol, among other offences.

A hearing date has not been set for the appeal.



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