Hammer and "spear" used in near fatal attack

WHEN Gailes man Ian Ross Cockrell found himself in a threatening situation with a man twice his size, he decided to act first and ask questions later.

Instead of just protecting himself he almost killed the man instead.

Cockrell firstly grabbed a hammer and struck the man repeatedly in the head. Then he stabbed him in the face with a golf club that had an arrowhead attached to it.

Understandably the consequence of his vicious attack saw the then 26-year-old arrested and charged.

Before he was brought into Ipswich Court yesterday he'd spent 524 days in jail awaiting a final verdict and sentence on his attack.

The incident occurred at Cockrell's former residence in Gailes in October 2012, when a dispute over a drug debt turned aggressive.

While visiting Cockrell's home, the larger man demanded payment for the sale of OxyContin tablets he had given him.

Feeling threatened, Cockrell grabbed a hammer and struck the man with heavy blows to the head and shoulder.

He then armed himself with what Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic called "an improvised spear" which comprised a golf club with an arrow head attached to the end of it.

Cockrell stabbed the man in the face, the weapon piercing his cheek and the arrowhead embedding itself in his neck.

When ambulance crews arrived at the scene, the man had lost 1500ml of blood, was missing a tooth and had multiple lacerations to both sides of his head. He was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and was saved.

In court yesterday, Cockrell pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, and grievous bodily harm.

On the first count he was sentenced by Ipswich District Court judge Deborah Richards to three years jail. On the second count he was sentenced to five years jail.

Having already served 524 days in pre-sentence custody, Cockrell's imprisonment was suspended and he was released on parole immediately.

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