Guilty of gay bashing

EDWARD 'Ted' Gumbleton faces a lengthy jail term for his savage gay hate crime against a former police officer after seeking him out at his Nimbin home to attack him - kicking and punching him in the head and body in an unprovoked assault that left his victim bruised and bloodied.

Gumbleton, 37, a primary producer who gave his address as Suffolk Road, Blue Knob, was Thursday found guilty of assaulting and causing bodily harm to Martin 'Marc' D'Aurizio, 47, following a defended hearing in Lismore Local Court before magistrate Nicholas Reimer.

The magistrate said he found it 'absolutely amazing' the case had been defended because the evidence (against Gumbleton) was so clear.

Mr Reimer found it to be a homophobic offence, saying he could not believe a word of evidence from Gumbleton, who he was satisfied intentionally sought out his victim with malice, and with intent to attack him.

Gumbleton was introduced to Mr D'Aurizio, who is open about his homosexuality and is a former mounted police officer in Western Australia, at the Nimbin Hotel on February 1, by mutual friend Brett Barber.

Evidence from Mr D'Aurizio stated he was saying goodbye to female friends later that night when Gumbleton called him 'a sick c..t, you think you can f... guys and come around to our pub'.

The vitriolic abuse continued with Mr D'Aurizio saying he threatened to smash his head in. Mr D'Aurizio then retailated by yelling loudly (in front of hotel patrons) 'you want me to suck you off. It's not going to happen'.

“I told him he was not good looking enough and to leave me alone,” he said.

“I was very upset. Five to 10 minutes later he came back saying 'come on you sick c...t'. I told him he was not hot enough and to leave me alone. He got really angry.”

When Mr D'Aurizio arrived home just after 8pm Gumbleton ran to him from a parked four- wheel-drive.

“He sprinted up and began punching me in the head, just smash, smash, smash. I was screaming for help,” Mr D'Aurizio said.

“I fell to the ground and he was just kicking me, saying 'die you c..t'.”

His friend Alan Hickey dialled triple-0 to get police and Mr D'Aurizio later tried to pull the number plate off Gumbleton's vehicle (to help identify his attacker) and grab the keys before being kicked twice in the head.

In evidence Gumbleton said Mr D'Aurizio had wanted to fight him and denied following him home, saying he was in the street to visit a friend then saw him and went over 'to resolve the earlier situation, not in a violent way'.

He said he was 'very embarrassed' by what was said at the hotel because it was a small community.

In evidence neighbours said they saw Mr D'Aurizio being kicked.

Gumbleton will be sentenced on December 11.

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